4.269 Mango

-Cycle 4, Item 269-
1 (Tue) October 2013



at Izakaya Den

-Ermita, Manila-

with various WHO Korean staff

WHO Research Trip: Day 5 (see previously 4.268 Inasal Chicken...)

Mangoes are, if unofficially, the national fruit of the Philippines.  They're sold on the streets (i.e., pared, on sticks, ready-to-go).  They're served for dessert at restaurants, even foreign restaurants (maybe only foreign restaurants?).  They're incorporated as an ingredient in fusion dishes (e.g., mango sushi).  In dried/packaged form, they're sold at the duty free store in the airport and exported as a major trade commodity (e.g., available at Costco in Korea).  I can't think of any single fruit so integrally/exclusively tied to a country's identity.

Mango Maki (second from top)

I hate fruit generally.

I hate mangoes especially.

Last week at a dinner with Korean WPRO staff, the same kind of mango plate had finished off the meal (see 4.263 Parros Clams...), but I hadn't even bothered.

This time, however, one of the staffers launched on a mission to feed everyone a bite from her own spoon, so I couldn't really refuse.

I was blown away by the explosion of flavor.  Creamy beyond compare, the fruit tasted fantastically/wondrously/incredibly/stupendously sweet.  Like canned peaches, so soft and sugary that they seem artificial, that's exactly what these mangoes were like, but in a good way, the best way.

Although I still hate fruit, and mangoes, precisely because of that sweetness, I must admit from an objective standpoint that I was blessed to experience fruit/mango perfection tonight.

Everyone else seemed to agree, because we had another round.

Even at a Japanese restaurant in Manila, the Koreans order kimuchi nabe and soju.

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