How Mexico City Eats Mango
The only thing that has ever made me think there might be a God is the mango.
This divine fruit is so much more delicious and sweet than seems necessary to ensure its survival as a species that it’s hard not to see the hand of an intelligent designer at work. If you like mangoes (and what reasonable person doesn’t?), then Mexico City is a good place to be. Mango season runs for about six months, during which time legions of young men and women ply the streets with fruit-laden wooden carts. In order to fill a plastic cup with mango pieces, the vendor cuts off the tip of a fruit, then inserts a screwdriver into its pit, so he can use it as a handle. (The screwdriver is generally a Phillips head, which stays lodged in the pit more firmly than a flat head.) The vendor then cuts off the mango’s skin with a series of quick, deft slashing motions, before methodically chopping the impaled fruit into chunks, which he slides into a cup. It’s rather elegant to watch, and significantly harder to do at home than it looks. The usual way to order your mango is with lime, salt, chile, and chamoy (a sweet, spicy, and spectacularly synthetic Mexican condiment), though this strikes me as gilding the lily. If God had intended for mangoes to be spicy, he would have made them that way.
Photo: Courtesy of Hamish Anderson