I’m such a cheat, and not just on my fruit guy. All my locavore pride goes out the window when I buy Haitian mangoes. Walking into a fruit store at Jean-Talon for me is like waving a lit cigarette in front of a former smoker. I just can’t resist.
What’s been stopping me mostly is that the mangoes just aren’t very good. I think back to the inexpensive altaulfos I bought by the crate in the summer, the amazing mango salad I made with them, and the mango juice dripping from my chin into the sink when I ate the ones from the crate that just wouldn’t last another day in my humid kitchen.
My kitchen is currently an ice box and if I can actually get a piece of fruit to ripen these days it’s a miracle. But the woman at Tania’s Fruits in Jean-Talon market gave me a sample of Haitian mangoes. I wasn’t sold on them. They were a bit bitter near the skin and the sweet and sour nature of the inner flesh was leaning a bit more toward sour, but I bought 3 for $5 and told myself it would only be this once.
When I got home I cut one open right away and found it a bit disappointingly bitter. So by the second half I knew it needed something. I figured I’d try the Mexican way of eating fruit by adding lime juice and sprinkling it with salt. The lime would make the flesh seem sweet by contrast. Then the salt could emphasize that sweetness. It wasn’t bad, but there was still a strange kind of herbal flavour to the mango and I figured something sweet and bitter would work well with it…something like Chartreuse Verte. So I took a small glass of the green, high-alcohol percentage liqueur and bit into my lime-flavoured, salted mango, chasing it with a sip of the syrupy, bitter liquid.
Perfect. Absolutely perfect. Now I didn’t mind the herbal, bitterness of the mango, and the sweet freshness lightened up the syrup of the alcohol. No ice cubes were involved because that would dull the flavour. That’s probably why I felt warm and a little dizzy pretty quickly. Essentially, I was drunk on mango, and that’s not such a bad thing at all.