The first time I tasted a mango, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso, West Africa. The mangoes were so prevalent, I could have picked them off my neighbor’s tree (but that would have been bad manners). Instead, I bought mangoes on market day, from children selling them on the side of the road, from my perch in a bashe [bash-ay], or mini-bus. In short, I went mango-crazy. I ate them so often I got sick of them. Then I got over it and went back for more.
I’ve never found a mango sold in a grocery store in the U.S. that matches up to my precious Burkina mangoes, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. I like slightly unripe mangoes – they’re easier to cut and are a little tart. If you’ve never tried a mango, you don’t have to go it alone. Believe it or not, there is a National Mango Board and June is National Mango Month (I wonder when National Papaya Month is?). On their website, you can get recipes to cook with mangoes (even though they are perfect just the way they are) and even watch a video on how to cut a mango, which I have helpfully linked to here:
The National Mango Board also has interactive games and information for kids on their website, but it’s focus is solely on South America, which leaves out my Burkina mangoes. I should probably write them a letter of protest!