FIRST FRUIT FRIDAY: Mangga/Mango

Pusong bibitin-bitin,
Mabangong amuyin,
Masarap kainin

A hung heart,
Pleasant to smell
Succulent to eat

a riddle on the Mangga

Before your mind goes dark, let me just reiterate: We’re talking about a fruit here.

As the national fruit of the Philippines, the Mangga is never far from any Filipino family’s home. It holds a special place on our tables especially on holidays in the form of desserts (such as mango float and mango bango, among others) and we have had festivals made in honor of it.

There are a lot of Filipino legends out there about the origin of the Mangga (a bizarre one says a Carabao/Water Buffalo and a tree fell in-love and the tree bore heart-shaped fruits afterwards), but most of them involve one tender-hearted person dying and turning into a fruit-bearing tree later on.

Here in Tacloban, it feels like it’s always in season because you can always find a stall or two selling mangoes alongside Zamora Street in the downtown area. (Check Chowking Zamora or Dunkin Donuts Zamora)

The two most common mangoes in Tacloban are the Carabao (from the legend) Mango and the sour Green Mango which is a popular snack all year round and a favorite craving for pregnant women.

As I’ve written in a previous article (https://whatinthephilippines.com/2019/03/29/bagoong-and-bahong-and-lawlaw-oh-my/), the Green Mango is usually paired with bagoong (shrimp paste). The sour-sweet (mostly sour) crunch of the mango is highlighted by the briny bagoong.

Julia’s first time eating Green Mango with Bagoong Alamang for the first time.

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