The First Mango
Like Christmas beetles and cicadas, the smell of bushfire smoke and sunscreen, a big, ripe, sunset-coloured mango is one of the stalwarts of an Australian summer. And if you can get them in a tray, bought from a truck on the side of the road, even better. My inaugural 2012 summer mango didn’t come from a truck on the side of the road, he was plucked from a tray in Coles because on my way out, through the fruit and veg section, I smelt those mangoes and I turned right back around and bought one. Then I carried it carefully to work – where I just held it and pushed my nose up against it every so often, to breathe in its summery scent – and home again, not wanting to bruise that sweet flesh, and told my Mum not to eat it. She ate it. But she replaced it with one just as sunset-coloured, just as sweet, just as fragrant.
And this weekend, I ate it, my first mango of the season, in the most inelegant, satisfied fashion possible. Come on, Summer.