Mango for breakfast

The fragrant mango reminds me of mango trees in Mali, West Africa where each fruit was a treasure, and I often ate them for breakfast with guilt due to the impoverishment of my Malian neighbors who were often consigned to one bowl of vile millet porridge per day, and rail thin to prove it. I myself returned to America so thin my menses had stopped.


One must never sleep under tall mango trees. Even though they are very generous with their shade which makes them very attractive in the African heat, mango trees are also generous with their fruit and will randomly release it to the ground with loud, weighty thumps that would be hurtful to one’s noggin.


In 1980, I lived in a small village about a fifteen minute drive from San, a small town and capital of the Cercle of San in the Ségou Region of Mali. At the time the only electricity in San was generated by the mango factory owned by a Scottish expatriate of dubious moral rectitude. His electrical generator ran his mango factory, and he ran lines to his confederates in town including a small store to maintain a refrigerator of cold goods. He once invited me and a friend to dinner chez lui, which included his homemade mango chutney which I felt was the best in the world, saddened only to learn he allowed one serving, and one serving only. I left early, but my friend stayed, for part of the night and left with shudders. The Scottsman was old then, he has probably passed by now.


How to cut a mango: cut through and all around the largest diameter of the fruit, twist each half off to pull out the stone, cut crisscrosses through the fruit halves, and flip each half inside out. This will pop up cubes of delicious mango.

Caption: Mango For Breakfast by Annmarie Throckmorton, 2012.

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