It’s summer, and North Americans are once again collectively nodding their heads and wiping their mouths in agreement with one fact: mangos are wonderful.
The national fruit of India and the Philippines comes in dozens of varieties, each a different shade of green, red, yellow, and orange.
I’ve spent many a year avoiding any mangos with red or green colour. In our part of the world, they’re most often placed next to their golden counterparts, specifically champagne mangos. Red/green mangos are usually harder and stringier, and have bigger pits than the yellow ones.
If you lived your life like me, I tell you now, you’re living it half-heartedly.
Red/green mangos don’t melt in your mouth. They aren’t sweet as honey. You have to work for their secrets.
But unlocking them comes with loving the tango of sour and sweet, and loving the range of experiences that come from the different flavours, including variations of mild, rich, and woody. You get the satisfaction of not needing perfection, whatever that is. You get reality.
There’s something about champagne mangos that’s just a little too perfect. Too smooth. Too soothingly sweet.
I’m not suggesting we boycott these delicious freaks, at all; I’m suggesting we don’t settle for perfection. Especially not human-made perfection.
Champagne mangos came about from selective hybrid breeding among other mango varieties, the same selective hybrid growing that created the parapple and the limequat, and that led to the virtual annihilation of all but one variety of banana.
I’m not saying this fucking with nature will be a straw that will result in breaking the earth’s back. Not necessarily.
I’m just reminding you that nature has done a pretty good job of providing a slew of its own plants with their own delicate, mysterious, fulfilling, wonderful qualities, ones that create inspiring experiences by virtue of not being perfect. Just like the rest of life.
Don’t cut out champagne mangos completely. Just try to enjoy them along with as many other types as you can get your hands on. And don’t settle for “perfection.”