Sadly, we have bid farewell to the last mangoes and pineapples of the season. Mangoes are ripe from about December through February. We had pineapples at our market in December and January and a couple of times in February. I can’t even begin to describe how delicious and intensely flavored both fruits are here in Tanzania. We were slow on the uptake with using both fruits but will be better prepared next year.
I didn’t buy many pineapples at first because I didn’t really know how to prepare them. It seemed tricky to get all of the eyes out. With a bit of instruction from our housekeeper, Neema, and the diagrams in How to Cook Everything, I’ve gotten some practice. I use a potato peeler to get the eyes out and am pretty good at preparing fresh pineapple now.
I’ve gotten a kick out of my husband’s belated affinity for mangoes. For the first two and a half months of mango season, he said he didn’t like mangoes. I think what he didn’t like was that they are drippy and messy to eat, and they leave stringy bits stuck in your teeth. From my time as an intern in Honduras, I already knew that I love fresh mangoes despite the minor inconveniences of eating them. So I bought them and ate them myself. Sometime in the last few weeks of the season, H. ate a mango and his opinion changed dramatically! From that point on, he was on a search for all of the remaining mangoes in southern Tanzania.
So here’s looking forward to a drippy, juicy mango & pineapple season 2009-10!