India Uncut

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Eating mangoes

I like mangoes. Really. But this particular description of how to eat one fills me with horror:
Inside knowledge always helps, so this reporter called upon Deepanjana Pal, a wine critic in Mumbai who is just as enthusiastic about mangoes. The most important lesson: How to eat a mango, presented in a three-part mime. She first holds out a cupped hand, in which sits the imaginary glistening orange oval of a whole peeled mango; she then deftly flicks her hand at the wrist to propel the phantom mango against her mouth, which gets busy sucking the flesh down to the seed; finally, outrageously, she deploys the full length of her tongue to lick her arm, elbow to wrist, to recapture an inevitable trickle of invisible mango juice.

"That," she says after a long moment's rapture with a fruit that's not even there, "is the best bit." She goes on to speculate that there is something alchemical in the mingling of sweetest mango juice with a salty sheen of sweat.
Young Deepanjana and partner dined at our place last Sunday, as did youthful Manish and childlike Hash, and my guilt at not offering them mangoes to eat has entirely vanished. Surely this should be a private act!

(Link via email from Manish.)
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