OH MANGO, MY LOVE... | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 14, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 14, 2020


Let's face it, a virus with the same name as an alcoholic drink has got us all indoors. We have got lost internships, deferred graduation and zero paychecks. And we accede to Your Highness. It is after all, a killer microbe with spikes making it look like a crown. That being said, are mangoes really cancelled this summer?

An average Bangladeshi is said to be made of 90 percent mangoes in summer time. Mangoes are an emotion or, as millennials like to call it, a "mood". You can never go wrong with mangoes. Slice it into the salad, plop it in milk or blend into a smoothie. Might as well dunk it in chocolate; if strawberries taste sublime, so will the 'goes. Step up the game. Sticky rice with mangoes, anyone?

However, this summer, it is more than likely that we cannot feast on pounds of mangoes in ways we had dreamt all along the year. Much worse, there'd be little to no stack of pickle jars in the pantry. A few months ruined has come to a high price that is to be paid until the next season. Imagine the joys of pickling slices of fresh mangoes in the kitchen, the aroma teasing the buds until hunger caves in. Yeah, none of that is happening. It'd be just khichuri with passable, store-bought achar for the rest of the year.

The possibilities do not end here. You can literally write a book on "1001 Ways to Eat a Mango". There's aam bhorta, there's mango lacchi. Aamshotto and chutney. While we are still at the subject of unripe mangoes, the recipes for kacha aam er shorbot would top the list of "Useless Recipes of 2020". And of course, aam-doodh-bhaat would be a major missing at sehri hours.

Here's to hoping our summer gets drenched with himsagars and lengras. May our fruit baskets never pass a day (or a little longer is acceptable, given the times) without an amrapali or a fazli. Gopalbhog, rajbhog, mohonbhog and the rest of cultivars, do you have a type? Do we even need to have a type? They are all beautiful. There are 152 varieties of mango in Bangladesh; only 31 are mostly grown and it is still a lot to digest.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going; it'd be a hard catch but we sincerely hope to bag a few kilos of this wonder fruit during "mandatory" grocery runs. It would last a little while in the face of fierce appetite (quarantine side-effects). And, it is in our everyday prayers that the mangoes reach Dhaka on time, unhurt. That is, to elaborate, minimal damage to the glorious harvests due to transportation hokum plus a decent profit for the angelic growers. Is that too much to ask for?


Hiya thinks if you're not a fan of mangoes, you're not human. Send her your favorite mango recipes at hiyaislam.11@gmail.com


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