Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ode to the Mango

My favorite food group is mango. And of the various types (yellow, red, Haitian, Australian, Indian and so forth), my favorite has got to be Egyptian mango.

Which is probably not an official type of mango, but to my mind, it's the one that matters most.

Craig knows this. And that's why he bought one of each type of mango juice at Whole Foods and left it in my 'fridge for when I got home from Cairo. Very nice of him. I was SO thirsty after dragging my bags from JFK on the Airtrain to PATH and then up four flights of stairs.

Sadly, mango juice in a bottle will never replace fresh-squeezed. And after ten days home and five days in Barcelona, I have a serious craving for Egyptian mango juice. It's ripe, sweet, and full of pulp.

But I won't get that here, where mango juice comes in a jar. Where a mango smoothie is made of frozen mango cubes.

I met a man in Cairo once at a party. He told me he loved mango juice, that Egyptian mango was the best in the world. That he'd eaten so many mangoes during mango season that he'd gotten kidney stones. That the best mango was a kind I never had, something where the name meant "bull balls," because they were so large, thick, and round. I wish I'd tried a bull-ball mango.

I bought a mango here at the fruit stand, let it ripen, and the threw it in the blender with some ice.

It was adequate. But I miss the lush, chunky, delicious taste of fresh-squashed Egyptian mango.

Here is my mango haiku.

Egyptian mango
Excuse to move to Cairo
Bulls balls of the kings


Sue said...

Mmmmmmmmm.........Egyptian mango juice. There's nothing better on a scorching hot, humid, smoggy afternoon in Cairo. Thankfully you're never far from a juice bar and this delightful refreshment. My next favorite fruit experience is sucking on passion fruits in east and central Africa. When I can find them here (in Santa Rosa, CA) they're usually $3 each!

Marie Javins said...

And have been sitting on a container ship for weeks, like this morning's mango. :(

chummy's mum said...

are egyptian mangoes more similar the west indian/jamaican mango (greenish & pointy) or more like the mexican ones(reddish and more squat)? i'm so curious, never to have tasted one before!

Marie Javins said...

Here is Craig's photo of the juice place in Zamalek. It shows the green kind--but I suspect that the bull's balls mangoes are totally different, but sadly, a quick look at google turned up bull's balls mangoes from around the world, but no photos.