That garden I mentioned in the previous post? The one with all the mango trees? They’re not at all the same. A mango is not a mango is not a mango. In fact, there is a different mango for nearly every occasion. There are times when we want sweet, drippy juice and fruity flesh that turns the fingers sticky. Other times we want a tart, mouth-puckering savory salad. Some days it’s sour soup that requires a firm green mango. And sometimes it’s the simple joy of color we seek.
Different mangoes do all of these different jobs.
Our friend Rith gives us a basket of two varieties to sample. The first is called keo pong morn, or “chicken egg” mango. It’s that luscious, drippy kind that stains my notebook and gives me a sweet mango mustache. It gets all over my hands and face as the soft flesh of that fruit turns to liquid gold on my tongue. This mango is smaller than others, resembling the shape of—you guessed it—a chicken egg.
The other variety is called keo romeat (spelled keo lamiet here). It has the brilliant color of turmeric, thus the same name. This one has a teardrop shape and is not nearly as sweet or juicy. But the firm gold flesh is easily cut and holds its shape for display.
Someday I would like a mango garden somewhere, with trees bearing fruits for every occasion.