I discovered that the very best time to eat mangoes is to have them well past midnight. This came about late, late last Sunday, when I was awake into the wee hours, not obsessing about writing. I was getting peckish, so I thought I would go and get a snack. Of two mangoes. (And write, since I was up, anway. Just an idea or two. Hardly obsessing, really).

The mango that I had chosen to begin with was overripe and had lost some of its firmness. Inverting my criss-crossed mango cheek, I had in my hand an inviting mound of bright yellow diamonds. I found that all it took was a firm lick to lift a diamond of cold, sweet mango into my mouth. I tasted summer in an instant; then honey, and a hint of pineapple. Each mouthful finished with a slightly bitter end, a perfect foil to counter the ripe sweetness at the start. Each mouthful tasted just ever so slightly different, each a new discovery.

This is the kind of eating that you concentrate on. This is the kind of eating that you share with no one. This is why you need to eat mangoes at midnght – when the world beyond your kitchen light is shrouded in darkness, when all the other inhabitants of the house are sleeping softly. You know as you lift up a piece of mango to begin your feast, that no one will interrupt you. There will be no requests for milk-in-a-bottle-please-mummy, no having to tell anyone that the mayonaise-is-in-the-middle-shelf-in-the-fridge-behind-the milk-and-next-to-the-bread. There will be no Nokia tunes to announce the arrival of an SMS. Nothing. It will be just you and the mango, softly, softly in the night.

Advertisements