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Green mangoes in Japan


By Mel - Posted on 22 November 2010

As Filipinos living in Japan, one thing that we really miss from home is eating unripe mangoes.  The mangoes that are available in Japan are imported from other countries and most, if not all, are already ripe.  There's nothing really wrong with ripe mangoes but for many Filipinos nothing beats the taste of sour, crunchy, mouth-watering green mangoes.  So when Cerg happened to find some green mangoes in a nearby supermarket, she bought them all! (Only two mangoes were left so she took those two.)

When Cerg sent me a text message saying she was able to buy big green mangoes, I imagined something like our large Philippine varieties such as carabao and pico mangoes.  I was wrong though because the mangoes looked more like giant Indian mangoes.  Fortunately, they tasted like Indian mangoes too.

The timing of Cerg's finding some green mangoes was perfect because we still had some homemade bagoong alamang which my sister Da ordered from a friend.  Unlike exported bagoong that are sometimes very sweet, the homemade bagoong has the exact balance of saltiness and sweetness that is perfect for green mangoes.  The taste reminds us of the bagoong that comes with mangoes sold on sticks.

Had there been no bagoong available, I would have eaten the mangoes the kinalog way.  Kinalog na mangga (lit. rattled mango) is done by slicing the mango into pieces, putting the slices into a deep bowl, sprinkling rock salt (and optionally some labuyo), covering the bowl with a plate, and shaking the covered bowl vigorously until the salt melts.  By this procedure, each mango slice gets covered evenly with melted salt and mango extract.  By the way, this is also how we prepare duhat.

If you're in Japan and all this mango talk had you salivating and craving for green mangoes, remember that you can buy green mangoes from Asian stores in Ueno as well as from your nearest Filipino stores.  Remember too that it is better to give than to receive so please don't forget to share those mangoes with Mister At MisisAyaw niyo? Sumakit sana tiyan nyo! hehe.

Enjoy our national fruit!

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