Thursday, July 23, 2009

A foodie interlude.

In Toronto every year at around this time all of the foodies go crazy over these sweet Pakistani mangoes. Last year we went looking for them in Little India but couldn't find any.

This year, I went searching for mangoes alone. To be honest, Little India scares me a little bit. And this year Little India was even less appealing than I remember it. The garbage strike probably has a lot to do with that. Some areas of the city are worse than others and the few blocks of Gerrard street that Little India occupies are some of the worst that I've seen so far. We're about 5 weeks in now, which means that no garbage has been collected from the public waste bins in that long. Just imagine! The regular streetcar stop had been moved one lamp pole west because the bin beside the normal stop was stuffed full and had fallen open and was overflowing onto the street. The smell is not pleasant.

Still, I toughed it out because R seemed really keen to try these special little mangoes. I finally found a store selling them in 3kg boxes (apparently they're so popular that there's no point in selling them individually) and picked through them to find what I thought was the best one. I took it into the store to pay and the owner of the store took me back outside and looked through all of the boxes with me again. It was pretty obvious to me that he wanted to make sure that I got a good first impression of these things. He told me that once I've had these mangoes I'll never want to eat the ones from Mexico again. Guaranteed! He found me a better box and I paid him my $16. Yes, $16 for 8 mangoes. Twice what I'd pay for the Mexican ones. I left the store thinking: These had better be good.

Honey Mangoes from Pakistan

I immediately loved the packaging. I adore the very 1970s Indian looking box with bold colours (I want to keep it to use it for storage!), and each of the mangoes has a sticker with ribbons coming out of it. Really cute.

So... How did they taste, you ask? Well, they didn't smell any different than regular mangoes so I didn't have very high expectations. I cut one open and it looked like a regular mango on the inside, but it was a little juicier. I put it in a bowl and brought it to R, but he let me have the first taste.

I was completely blown away! I've never tasted a fruit that was so naturally sweet. It was completely amazing. We've been making mango lassis with them every night since then, but with these mangoes you don't need to add any sugar at all.

The guy in Little India was right. I never want to eat another Mexican mango again.

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