Dear Everyone in South Florida: Stop trying to make me eat mangoes.
I know summer is broiling us alive. I know that means the trees are ripe and the fruit is falling. But stop. Because mangoes are disgusting.
This opinion is deeply unpopular, only slightly more palatable than “Florida should institute a state income tax!” or “It’s super fun to survive a Category 4 hurricane!” or “We should outlaw air conditioning — it’s bad for the environment!” Because wherever you go this time of year in Miami, someone is trying to force mangoes on you.
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It could be a co-worker or a neighbor (see related content above). It could be your mother or your best friend. Whoever they are, whatever they stand for, mango lovers bond over this sordid tropical trash fruit that aspires to be a peach but succeeds only in slightly outpacing the kumquat.
These mango fascists demand your allegiance. They want you to experience mango juice dripping down your chin (you can’t eat a mango without 12 costume changes). The propaganda machine is unstoppable. Eager chefs create new ways to celebrate the bounty. So do bakers. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden just celebrated its 24th Annual International Mango Festival, extolling the joys of the Cuban mango.
But here? Here we provide you with the reasons mangoes are essentially — because there is no more accurate word — gross.
1. The texture
Much like Miami Dolphins fans who refuse to consider recent history when talking about the playoffs being within reach this season, mango aficionados tend to skirt right over this part. People who complain about pulpy orange juice don’t seem to notice the texture of a mango is stringy, chewy and reminiscent of a sweetened old tennis shoe blended with an overripe loquat. If a pear presented itself this way, you’d never forgive it.
2. The taste
Yes, I know, the fruit from your special magic tree reveals a divine, never-before tasted flavor, and one cannot truly appreciate the mango without trying it. This is untrue, a byproduct of the vast conspiracy to force Floridians to tout one of the worst things about their state (green algae water, carnivorous pythons, the Palmetto and flocks of mosquitoes the size of carrier pigeons notwithstanding).
3. The smell
Have you ever stepped into your backyard, inhaled deeply and caught a whiff of the pungent scent of dozens of fallen mangoes rotting swiftly in your backyard? Well, if you have and you hate it — which you do — don’t worry. Rats and roaches love it.
4. The mess
Despite the fact that flip flops are the pinnacle of human invention, people continue to walk around barefoot. Ever stepped on a rotten mango and had its cold, slimy meat gush up between all five toes? No? Go step on one and tell me you want to chop this substance into salsa for your fresh grouper.
5. Childhood trauma
Anybody who grew up in South Florida was a child soldier in the mango wars, which involved whipping decaying pieces of fruit at the heads of siblings or other neighborhood children. If you’ve ever had a near-rotten mango explode on you, then join me in rejecting the cult of the mango.