Mango Mango Mango

22 May


My father grew up in Kenya, with a mango tree in his garden, and would often tell my brother and I how much he loved this fruit.  Occasionally, he would find one in a green grocers, and bring it home for us to try.  Invariably, it was disappointing, overripe and tasting of petrol, and I didn’t understand why he liked them so much.

Fast forward to my first trip to Thailand, aged 19, which coincided with mango season, and I finally understood what all the fuss was about.  I discovered juicy, fragrant, yellow mangoes and hard green mangoes eaten as salad or with chili and salt.  My Thai friend, normally so patriotic, told me that although Thai mangoes were delicious, Indian Alphonso mangoes were her favourite.  Sadly I left Thailand before they arrived in the markets, so I didn’t get to try them.

A few years later, on a trip to Singapore, I finally tried what is considered to be the world’s finest mango, the Alphonso.  It was like no other fruit I had ever tasted, so juicy it’s almost entirely liquid, with a perfumed, honey taste, almost like incense. 

When we moved to our current house, we started visiting nearby Tooting to buy food from the many Indian shops that line the High Street.  Imagine my delight when I discovered that every May, the shops are full of Indian and Pakistani Alphonso, King and Kesar mangoes, sold in boxes by the dozen.  Since then, May is mango month in our family, and we eat them until we can’t eat any more.  They make great baby food (see pic above), ice cream, salsa, smoothies, you name it, I can find a use for them. 

On our round the world trip we will be spending a few months in Thailand.  Happily, we will be there in mango season.  I have no worries about any of us going hungry.


This post is part of Photo Friday at Delicious Baby. For more pictures, click here.


51 Responses to “Mango Mango Mango”

  1. CanCan (Mom Most Traveled) 22/05/2009 at 10:34 am #

    mmm…mouth watering here! We have a mango tree in our yard but they are always sour. I love eating good juicy ripe ones, I’m not sure if I have had the magical Indian mango you speak of!
    Also dried mangoes from the Philipines are like no other!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 22/05/2009 at 11:21 am #

      Go to your nearest Indian shop and ask if they have them. You will thank me!

  2. Liz 22/05/2009 at 11:06 am #

    What a gorgeous happy picture – love it!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 22/05/2009 at 11:18 am #

      ta v much

  3. Dulwich Divorcee 22/05/2009 at 11:41 am #

    Hi, Itsa, what a lovely blog! My ex-sister-in-law lives in the Caribbean and I used to love looking at the mango trees – they look as though they are wearing earrings when the mangoes are ripe. I drive through Tooting on way to work and the fruit is fab! Brixton market also really good.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 22/05/2009 at 1:32 pm #

      Thanks for kind comments. Does Brixton market still sell giant African land snails. Middle son would love to see those!

  4. Monna 22/05/2009 at 12:56 pm #

    I met my first mango when I lived in Colombia. It was love at first bite! I am looking forward to Thai mangos. Thanks for this informative post!

  5. Amy @ The Q Family 22/05/2009 at 1:45 pm #

    Oh.. Yes, we – Thai love our mangos. We have so many types that I can enjoy them year round. Now you made me wanna fly home to get some good mangos. 🙂

  6. Lucia 22/05/2009 at 3:38 pm #

    Yum. Love, love mangoes and now must try to find some of the Indian mango you mentioned. Curious to taste the difference.

  7. Bridget Smith 22/05/2009 at 4:42 pm #

    Had to respond to this one, with an experience from the other side of the globe. My junior year of high school I spent the summer as a high school exchange student in Venezuela. There was a mango tree in my host family’s back yard and I had mangos for breakfast every morning! It was definately one of the best breakfasts I have ever had.

    When I got home, I continued to try to find mangos when I could, but I must confess they hardly ever approximate the fresh from the tree ones.

    I bought a big box at Costco the other day, and am enjoying them. I am one of two members of my family of five who likes to eat them!

  8. jessie voigts 22/05/2009 at 5:21 pm #

    TOO fun! i love mangos, too. love the photo!

  9. Wanderluster 22/05/2009 at 5:22 pm #

    Mango is my second favorite fruit (watermelon first) and I can just taste its juicy deliciousness after looking at this photo.

    For me, it must be organic, otherwise it just doesn’t have the same taste!

  10. Heatheronhertravels 22/05/2009 at 8:13 pm #

    Hey – I used to live in Tooting, but I can’t say I discovered the mangos – worth knowing though when I next pass an Indian grocer

  11. Motherofalltrips 22/05/2009 at 8:55 pm #

    This is such a cute picture. I’m jealous of the mangoes! The ones we get tend to be hard as rocks.

  12. marina villatoro 22/05/2009 at 9:01 pm #

    I am actually sitting at my computer and eating a mango right now. It’s mango season here in Costa Rica and it’s a very messy fruit indeed. But ooooooooohhhhhh so yummy!

    You gotta love when kids dive into mangos:)

    Photo Frida – Guatemala Zoo will surprise you!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 23/05/2009 at 10:52 pm #

      I remember the mangoes and pineapples in costa rica being delicious. My dad always says you should eat them in the bath!

  13. Kymri 23/05/2009 at 12:43 am #

    Yep. My daughter loved mango as a baby and it’s still her favorite fruit now at 7. We learned to peel the skin then put a stick in it for “mango on a stick” which simplifies cutting it all up for kids 🙂

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 23/05/2009 at 10:49 pm #

      That’s a great idea!

  14. English Mum 23/05/2009 at 1:05 pm #

    That is possibly the most adorable pic I’ve ever seen. xx

  15. Dominique 26/05/2009 at 12:52 am #

    We don’t get much in the way of mangoes here…I like the taste of mangoes, but the ones in the stores here usually look too green or hard to be much good. I usually have to suffice with a bit of mango-flavored ice tea or a few chunks of frozen mango in a fruit cup. Guess now I have an idea of what I’m really missing!

  16. whatshappeningatmyhouse 21/04/2010 at 8:43 am #

    Mmmmm, mango! You’ve made me want one now! x

  17. Trish@ Mum's Gone to 21/04/2010 at 8:46 am #

    I used to live in Tooting too. I think I used to eat rubbish in my twenties so mangoes probably weren’t on the menu.
    Fab pic x

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 21/04/2010 at 10:17 am #

      You were probably a keen frequenter of the kebab shops then…

  18. whatshappeningatmyhouse 21/04/2010 at 8:50 am #

    Mmmmm, mango! You’ve made me want one now! x

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 21/04/2010 at 10:15 am #

      The early ones will be in the shops already and the big, cheap boxes in a couple of weeks…

  19. MummyTips 21/04/2010 at 8:53 am #

    I love Mangoes in Thailand too – and water melon that actually tastes of water melon….
    Now I am hungry and dreaming of Phuket. Thanks then!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 21/04/2010 at 10:12 am #

      I can’t wait for the fruit in South East Asia, I love the way you buy it ready prepared on the street. And it’s all SO delicious!

  20. Josie @Sleep is for the Weak 21/04/2010 at 9:13 am #

    Love that little toothy peg peeping through! Gorgeous.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 21/04/2010 at 10:16 am #

      I know, it’s a bit of a cheat reusing an old post, but I do love that picture and wanted to have a look at it again.

  21. Jo Beaufoix 21/04/2010 at 9:59 am #

    Awwww I love that picture. So cute with the mixture of gums and emerging tooth and mango. I’ve never tasted mango excet in smoothie form or as a ‘flavour’ in something else. I’ll definitely look out for alphonso mangos now.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 21/04/2010 at 10:17 am #

      You HAVE to try a proper mango. Go to an Asian grocer if you have one near you, because they are much cheaper than the other place you can get them, which is Waitrose.

  22. Gourmantic 21/04/2010 at 12:52 pm #

    I love mangoes, particularly mango sorbet in summer. Our mangoes in Australia can be ridiculously expensive since we export so many but well worth it when it comes to the taste!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 21/04/2010 at 5:53 pm #

      I look forward to eating them!

  23. christinemosler 21/04/2010 at 1:12 pm #

    Fabulous photo! I love the wrinkled up little nose, gorgeous. I’m a mango fan too as is my smallest boy…he would eat them til he was sick if I let him!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 21/04/2010 at 5:54 pm #

      I love it when children like something that is so good for them. Makes it easy to be a good mummy!

  24. Vegemitevix 21/04/2010 at 2:07 pm #

    My absolutely favourite fruit. We had an abundance of mango trees in Fiji as a kid. Unusually we used to also eat them unripe with a little Worcester sauce!! We even went so far as to import a whole tray of them into NZ when we returned from our gold mining adventures in the 1970s. They were disappointing too and I absolutely agree, fresh, preferably straight off the tree. Yum.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 21/04/2010 at 5:56 pm #

      In Thailand they eat them unripe too, but dipped in a mixture of salt, sugar and chilies. Yum.

  25. Mirka Moore 21/04/2010 at 2:41 pm #

    I love mangoes, and have tried the best in Thailand too. What a cute picture 😉

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 21/04/2010 at 5:56 pm #


  26. jessiev 21/04/2010 at 4:23 pm #

    yum. i LOVE mangos. it would be a dream of mine to HAVE a mango TREE!!!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 21/04/2010 at 5:57 pm #

      I know! Not a chance in London sadly.

  27. Chelle 21/04/2010 at 5:07 pm #

    I love mango’s. What fabulous photo, so very cute!

  28. Stephanie (@globaldish) 21/04/2010 at 6:37 pm #

    What a cute picture! I look exactly the same when I eat mangoes 🙂 I couldn’t stand mangoes until I went to Thailand for the first time either, when I was 18. Now they’re a huge part of my life. Who new there were so many varieties? Thanks for the info!!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 21/04/2010 at 9:59 pm #

      I’m very glad the airports have reopened in time for mango season. Normally I’m not a huge fan of airfreighting food, but I relax my principles for mangoes.

  29. eggscreamandhoney 21/04/2010 at 11:06 pm #

    Mangos are gorgeous. We love them in smoothies too. Use to live by tooting too but never knew these variations of Mango existed. What a shame. How nice for you that you will be able to sample them in Indonesia once and for all.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 22/04/2010 at 11:29 am #

      And mangosteen and pineapple and rambutan and custard apple… fruit in Asia is gorgeous!

  30. ladyblahblahs 22/04/2010 at 1:39 am #

    Ooooh, we buy our mango by crate from the Pakistani grocers too. I don’t think I ate them until I was an adult but like you, I couldn’t believe how good they taste. We have them most more mornings for breakfast – seems so decadent!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 22/04/2010 at 11:30 am #

      Decadent, but very healthy too. Not many things in life like that.

  31. Nancie 22/04/2010 at 3:46 am #

    What a wonderful photo!

    I love mangoes. My friends in Taiwan have trees in their garden and I am often there during mango season. I feel like I’m in heaven!

    I am missing the mango with sticky rice that Thailand is so famous for.

    Here in Korea the only mangoes we get are imported, and not very good.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 22/04/2010 at 11:27 am #

      I LOVE mango and sticky rice too. We have a restaurant nearby that makes it, and I’ve made it at home, but I can’t wait to eat the real thing again.

  32. Claire 22/04/2010 at 9:54 pm #

    Great picture. Love it.

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