Essay About Grilled Mango (Seriously?)
Yes, Another Novelty on the Grill
No one — absolutely no one — thinks of grilling a mango!
But we are thinking of it right now, and the results will be mighty good. A few simple steps to follow, and — whammo! — a delicious novelty we can enjoy as a dessert by itself, as a dessert with some of many possible additions, or even a side dish to, say, a dinner centered around grilled fish.
Actually, I just thought of that fish idea on the spur of the moment, but after this one is done I’m headed that way. Can hardly wait.
Hedgehogs? I thought we were talking about mangoes here.
Since with a mango it is difficult to separate skin from flesh or pulp, a mango can present a puzzle. How to eat this sweet, luscious fruit? The hedgehog is the answer. Once learned, it brings constant rewards.
Hold the mango up, point or base down (base is better). Align it so that one of the narrow edges is facing us. Basically the idea is to shear off the mango on either side of the large stone that occupies the middle of the mango. Slice straight down through one side and do the same on the other side. We now have two pieces of roughtly equal size, each in the shape of a sort of irregular oval. (Since the stone does not reach all the way to thinner edges of the mango, and there is some flesh there as well, each of these can be sliced off also as sort of miniature cousins of the two large pieces.)
Take one of the quasi oval sides and with the point of the knife cut a grid that is not too different from the lines for tic-tac-toe — only more lines. Then push the oval up from the under side, as shown. Beautiful chunks of mango are thus displayed in 3D and ready to eat, in a pattern that reminds some of the quills protruding from a hedgehog. “Hedgehog” is the term, at any rate, that is used by the professionals.
Grill in a Grilling Basket
The mango slices can be put directly onto the grill, but it is worth investing in a grilling basket for this. The basket can be used for many other things as well, mushrooms for example.
It doesn’t take long on a preheated grill, a couple of minutes per side. You do always preheat your grill, do you not?
We don’t want it to take long, either, because we don’t want to lose any of that marvelous juice contained in the mango’s flesh.
For another couple of minutes.
Just enough time on the grill so that the taste is enhanced and heightened and so that the texture of the mango is preserved. The texture is important.
Don’t they look nice?
Ready to Eat
The grilled mango makes a magnificent dessert all by itself. No need to add a single thing.
Just pick it up and gorge on the delicious yellow flesh of the grilled mango.
However, if we want to add something to mango perfection, there are a number of good choices. I don’t know if it is possible to heighten perfection, but here we are going to give it a try.
Two choices for heightening perfection are raspberry sorbet and chocolate gelato. The coolness of these ices contrasts amazingly well with the warm grilled mango.
Another choice? BOTH raspberry sorbet and chocolate gelato with the grilled mango. Why not? We can heighten the heighten.
What is a mango, by the way?
It is the National Fruit of India — that’s what it is! The “Indian Subcontinent”, as they say, is the origin of this delicious tropical fruit, now grown any place in the world with a climate warm enough to sustain it. It is also, by the way, the National Fruit of Pakistan and the National Fruit of the Philippines. There is a mango roundabout in Bangladesh. The world takes mangoes seriously. So many of our most delicious fruits and vegetables come from the discovery of the New World, but with the mango we are planted deep in that wonderful Old World — cradle of civilization, and all that. Cradle of Mango.
Panna, a delicious summer beverage is made with mangoes. Better known is mango lassi — mango pulp mixed with buttermilk and sugar. Pulp is also used to make jams and jellies. Unripe mangoes are used as a sort of pickle and in chutneys. Of course, mangoes provide juices and nectar, consumed straight or used in smoothies or ice cream. You can also mash mango and top ice cream or gelato with the mash, or put it in a milkshake. Then there are salads . . . .
Seems incredible but even the sour, unripe mango can be put to good culinary use. Think of chutney to accompany your curried lamb. Some people even eat stick-like slices of one of these as a sort of pickle, dipped in chili sauce or soy sauce. I haven’t tried that yet. More interesting to me is a jam made from ripe mangoes, a jam called mangada. I wonder what mangada spread on toasted sourdough bread tastes like?
Let us not forget the mango smoothie. I wonder what a mango smoothie made with grilled mangoes tastes like?
Real Meal. Unlike fancy food mags, where images are hyped and food itself is secondary, all pix shown here are from a real meal, prepared and eaten by me and my friends. No throwing anything away till perfection is achieved. This is the real deal — a Real Meal.