Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Summer ripe

Earlier in this blog, I wrote about mouth-watering green, crispy Philippine mangoes, particularly dipped into "bagoong" (shrimp/fish paste) before eating. Well, the Philippines is now in its summer or dry season, and this is much proven not only by the swe
ltering heat but also by the abundance of fruits in the market. Local fruits that always make their appearance around this dry season. Foremost among these fruits in taste and aroma are the ripened Philippine mangoes. With their golden-yellow to yellow-ochre smooth skin and tender meat, ripe Philippine mangoes are simply the best, yearned for not only by Filipinos but by any foreigner who is lucky to taste them. It's also said that ripe Philippine mangoes were a favorite of the late Pope John Paul II, who was a visitor to the country for at least two times. And I've heard a number of stories of people going abroad trying to bring with them these mangoes from the Philippines, even basketsful if only the customs people will allow them. Because, really, each bite, each mouthful, of these mangoes is an experience. Your taste buds savor the juicy, tender, sweet meat of the mangoes, and you forget your name. Especially if the mangoes are cooled for a while in the refrigerator, whole or already sliced. If eating the mango fresh isn't your jive, you can also take it as a dried fruit, usually made, and neatly packed into plastic bags, in Cebu province in central Philippines (mangoes are produced by various Philippine provinces, but I've heard that the best come from either Guimaras, which is also in central Philippines, and Zambales in Luzon island, which is upper north of the country). If dried mango still isn't to your liking, you can order at the restaurant, or make it yourself, ripe mango shake, smoothie, or juice (by the way, green mango can also be taken any of these ways). Perfect for cooling off this summer. Hmmm...for those with really sweet tooth, there's also the variations of mango cake or pie from Philippine bakeshops, like the mango-cashew roll from Red Ribbon and mango bravo cake from Conti's, among other well-known bakeshops in the country. Well, then, don't wait for summer to end and for the Philippine mangoes to take their break. Grab one now, or better yet, a basketful! Errr..wanna try some mango ice cream, too?

Image of ripe mangoes from busytrade.com

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