Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Reaching for the Pullitzer in Mango Writing

Back in March, the Bush Administration lifted the trade ban on Indian Alphonso mangoes. We don't know why there was a ban on importing mangoes, either. Now that the mango season is at its peak in Mumbai, so Jonathan Allen has scouted out what we're looking forward to, described in florid prose that we can only hope is tongue-in-cheek:

Feeling ready to try out my mango technique on the real thing, I head to the 19th-century Crawford Market, haunt of housewives and head chefs. With its blackened Gothic clocktower, it looks like the wicked stepsister of the Jefferson Market Library in Greenwich Village. But mango season is one of the least intimidating times to visit the place, with the sweet-smelling mango stalls offering necessary respite from the market's many less inviting parts, like the blood-puddled corridors past the butchers' stands and the notoriously dispiriting pet section with its grim array of birds and small animals slumped in tiny bare cages.

Unlike the caged puppies, newly arrived mangoes at the market get to bed down in hay for a whole week, ensuring that they ripen evenly from cool green to hot yellow. Then, once the mangoes are ready, shoppers nuzzle them affectionately against their faces as if the mangoes were sad and needed comforting, another treat withheld from the arguably more deserving puppies. The shoppers are in fact hoping to inhale the distinct whisper of mango perfume, which only barely leaks out the skin of the perfectly ripened fruit.

"Arguably more deserving puppies?" We think not. Give us the mangoes.

1 comment: