(“The High Commissioner presented the King with Indian mangoes, the first commercial consignment of which has been received by the Trades Puclicity Department….. They have received about 1000 trade inquiries regarding mangoes” – Reuter)
HOW TO EAT MANGOES
Dr D Wilson Taylor,
East Manse, Alford,
………….August, Indian Jungle.
Modern refrigeration and the Trades Publicity Department have brought the first mangoes from India to the English market. The mangoe being practically unknown in England, patriotic hostesses (anxious to use Empire products) will appreciate these notes on how it is eaten as dessert in India – thus enabling them to show a savoir faire which will impress their guests.
The mango may be recognised externally as looking like a run-over orange or large plum, being bolster-shaped but mainly green in colour ; it has not the careless wrinkled complexion of the orange but a skin of delicate schoolgirl texture. It is the most luscious and messy of all fruits.
But the mango may be mastered after a few trials and the fact that the writer is one of those jungle Empire-builders who dresses nightly for his lonely dinner, ensures not only that the information will be first-hand, but that the manner of eating will be refined and practical.
retinue of servants and the pomp with which it is served in the East will not
be practicable at home but spurred by Royal - example there are likely to be
numerous “Mango Parties” in
Method of eating. Finger-bowl, plate, fruit knife and teaspoon provided. To see if it is ripe, prod gently with handle of fork. It should give a low-noted ‘squashy’ reply. Looking as blasé as possible, pierce the (rather tough) skin with the (blunt) knife, making a rapid circular incision round the middle of the fruit. You will find complete amputation impossible, for a hard substance – the large central stone – is encountered at the depth of about half an inch. Therefore seize the mango at both ends, rotating each hand boldly in opposite directions as in opening a hip-flask. A delightfully ‘slushy’ sound occurs and the two halves come apart – that in the right being cup-like with a lining of orange-coloured pulp; that in the left being a similar ‘cup’ from which one half of the pulp-covered stone protrudes like a golden dome. (Or vice versa : the odds are even).
Much juice has already been spilt which should be drunk out of the plate when no one is looking. (Wash in finger bowl).
Having scooped the pulp from the right half with the teaspoon, as in eating an egg, the irrevocable step of tackling the ‘cup-plus-stone’ half is taken. The ‘cup’ making an admiral holder, you cover the dome with your mouth and suck deliciously. The pulp is well-rooted to the stone and your sucking makes a noticeable noise (though perhaps it is only the silence of the jungle that made it seem so loud). (Wash in finger bowl).
The diner, rapidly becoming oblivious of his surroundings – a leopard has been known to approach – will now be bent on removing the stone to gain access to the pulp at its base. The novice will attempt renewed suction with the mouth, which will be fortunately unsuccessful, for he would find himself with something the size of a golf ball in his mouth. He cannot swallow it like a prune stone and if he disgorges it into his spoon he looks as if he were running a ‘mango-and-spoon’ race. Worrying it with the teeth will only displace a denture.
He may take a lesson from the road-lifter. Excavate all round between skin and stone with spoon, then insert spoon deeply and try to lever up as if raising a Pyramid. A Civil Engineer may succeed, but if it is your first mango you may either bend the spoon or the stone – suddenly freed – may shoot into the face of the lady on your right.
The writer’s method, adapted from other pursuits, has not been known to fail.
Exert gentle manual pressure outside, at the base of the cup-like container, as if pressing a motor-horn or a lady’s hand, and with a squelching sound the stone blobs in all its seductive messiness on to the plate. A pair of coal-tongs would now be the only cleanly method of eating, but by now one’s delicacy is gone and one goes at it naked-handed till only debris is left. (Call for Baths).
The bath, dear hostess, may undoubtedly be a difficulty. (Though not because it is socially impracticable for did not the Romans dine in their baths?). The writer realises that he usually has a moon-lit pool near his camp. But if you occupy a service flat or have your party when on an autumn cruise, there is likely to be a swimming-pool. Or if you are staying at home and baulk at “sharing your bath” (as Mr Mencken would put it) with anyone, you may send your mango with the invitations and let your guests eat them in privacy prior to the bath they will take before dressing.