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Archive for April, 2010

Mango memories

Sitting in a hotel room recently decompressing after a day of computer crunching, my trusty Case XX pocketknife slid almost effortlessly under the tough skin of the mango.

It’s amazing how a simple piece of fruit can spark a memory.

As much as I love good food, I’d never had a mango until about 10 years ago. Sheltered life, for sure. Pork rinds? Check. Great steak? Definitely. Mango? Ah, exotic and far-flung from some unknown place away from my little world.

We were in a boat on the edge of a marsh in Louisiana seemingly at the tip of the world. Our crew had left New Orleans early that morning, dropped in the boat at Venice and started fishing. Redfish and speckled trout. Louisiana’s marshes were rife with them, before Katrina and now after, and we were searching another spot casting topwaters and Cocahoe minnows.

My buddy Sam Heaton stood on the deck, opened the blade on his pocket knife and started slicing a mango. I’d never even seen one. Sad, I know. The juice ran down the blade and his fingers, dripping on the boat’s deck. The mango had a beautiful, light orange tint.

Sam offered a slice and my good golly, that was good. Then we went back to fishing.

I’ve had mangoes on boats since then, sometimes enjoying a drift when I take a break from fishing to slice off chunks. There’s always the fun of checking for a just barely soft mango in the produce section, selecting three or four and then enjoying them. No sauces, no other trappings … just a good mango.

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