Saturday, April 28, 2007

KTWV 08 Issue 12: Taste buds explode! Real MANGOES in Oulu!

(Cross-posted on my major blogs.)

I was at the Pailin Restaurant early yesterday waiting for the postman. Around midday, he arrived, bearing two packages.

I waited patiently while Unnop and Pailin opened them - and then came that delicious aroma of fresh mango.

The name of this fruit comes from the Tamil and Malayalam word, manga.

They packed 5 of them them in a plastic bag and I "literally" scooted home. :-)

Annikki was up reading the newspaper. Before she could ask me where I had been, I was in the kitchen, ripping open the plastic bag and attacking one of the delicious mangoes.

This mango, although looking like what is referred to in India as the traditional Polymango, had the taste of a good Malgova.

The Polymango is what every school child in India knows. At the gates of schools all around the countrty used to sit that old man or woman with a basket of green mangoes, unripe ones. For one anna( less than Euro 0.04), they would cut one open, sprinkle in chilli powder mixed with salt. The kids would walk home eating this delicious spicy salt sour mango!

Even thinking of this makes my mouth water.

But this is not what the mango has been come to be known for around the world. The famous varieties in the western world are "Tommy Atkins", "Kent", "Keitt", "Madame Francis", and "Champagne".

In my humble opinion, all these are quite tasteless compared to the varieties we get in India.

The king of all mangoes, for taste, is considered to be the Ratnagiri Alphonso. As a small boy I used to wait for the day they hit the market in Bombay (Mumbai) in May My mother would get baskets of them.

Not many people in India can probably afford Alphonsos today!

But there are many tens of varieties which are actually considerably tastiers than the Alphonso - Bangalora (Kilimooku), Banaganapalle or Banganapalli (also called 'Banesha' or 'Began), Dusserli or Dasheri, Imampasand, Khaderpasand, Langra, Maldah, Malgova, Neelam, Peethar, Rasalu, Rumani, Suvarnarekha, and many more. each one has his or her own favourite and their favourite way of eating their "mango".

The sweetest mango that I have ever had grew in our garden in Defence Officers Colony in a suburb of Madras (Chennai). This used to be an old mango grove before ot was acqyuired by the army to build houses for retiring army personnel. we were lucky to be able to rent a house for a couple of years in this colony.

It was an old tree and the mangoes that it produced was probably a cross between a Rumani and an Alphonso. Each mango, which was bright yellow when ripe, weighed about a kilo and there was just the right blend of juicy content with fleshy content. I used to be offered a lot of money by the professional pickers for the fruit from this tree - but we never gave them up as they were so delicious.

Our daughter, Joanna, was just a few months old when we had the first crop. This was to the horror of the older folks. They considered the mango to be too "heaty" for a small child - whatever that may mean!

Joanna was brought up on the juice of thee mangoes, and I think there were no ill effects!

I digress.

The mangoes we received from Thailand were really delicious. There were 5 and together they weighed 650 gms.

As the photographs below depict, I consumed mine, traditional style, with juice dripping down my palm, in less than a couple of minutes!

I sliced it open and to smaller pieces the way I had been taught as a child.

I cleaned the pieces to the skin, hardly leaving anything on the skin or the seed!

I cannot wait till next week when our next consignment arrives. Hopefully a nice ripe Papaya will also be there.

Yes, we can get anything we like to eat here now in this small town of Oulu!

Thank you Unnop and Pailin for this great service.


Rila said...

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