I am very happy that you decided to buy a case of mangoes.
This means that you love mangoes.
Did you purchase the case because it was cheap? because they were huge in size? Or because they were over ripe and will go bad by the time you finish the last one?
Do you know that there are different types of mangoes grown in different parts of the world?
In addition, each variety has distinguishing textures and aromas.
Over the forty (40) years that I have been in business, I have created several varieties of Mango Juices, Drinks, Pulp, Purees in different sizes of cans or bottles, and believe me I have tried each of my varieties a hundred times before I make the decision to produce the very best.
Imagine, upon my request, four (4) types of mangoes being delivered to my office from Indonesia to be sampled.
The cost of freight and paper work alone result in an enormous expense.
At times, I felt that each mango cost $50.00.
Therefore, before I cut the mango and eat it, I had to be mentally prepared and I documented all my findings into the database.
Over the years, I discovered that there are four (4) varieties with exceptional taste and aroma.
I have placed them in random order: Alfonso, Haden, East Indian and Julie.
Alfonso is grown mostly in India. It is very difficult to find in Canadian stores.
East Indian varieties grows in Trinidad. Haden and Julie in Jamaica.
To verify the accuracy of what I have said, next time you are looking for mango, visit a Caribbean food outlet and ask the storekeeper to select one Julie mango for you.
Pay any price he suggests, ask him to wash the mango for you, take some paper tissue and go outside the store, find a secluded spot and peel a portion of the skin back with your fingers and start eating your mango.
It will take you some time. You may even find yourself using your teeth to eat every bit of pulp off the skin and seed of the mango.
Your eyes will roll around in your head and the mango juice will be running down the side of your mouth, and mango juice spill unto your shirt.
Pay no attention to passersby looking at you. Continue to enjoy your mango until you are left with the seed in your hand.
This little story is not to discourage you from purchasing the tray of mangoes you just bought.
Should they not be the right variety, then you may use them in any form you wish: boil, fry, stew, curry or bake because you will never understand what I am referring to until the day you sample the Julie or the other varieties just the way I described above.
Today is January 1, 2012, and most people are at home trying to recover from overindulging and over toasting ringing in the New Year.
As many of you know from reading my biography titled, The Immigrant, I am a workaholic and usually (well always, really) spend this day at the office.
I remember a few years ago on New Years Day 2006, I wrote an article about the life of Joseph Schriven the author of the Hymn, What A Friend We Have In Jesus. The article was published in a booklet format under the title: New Years Resolution and became vey popular. You may read it on www.mrgoudasbook.com website, in the Books and Articles Section.
Today, since it is very quiet in the office with only a skeleton staff, maintenance and security personnel, etc., I went into my Ready- Foods Pictures Portfolio and decided to write some recipes related to pictures that I have on file and post them in this section of the website for those who appreciate something different, not simply copy cut and paste.
Since I am on the mango topic, I remember an incident that happened to me forty (40) years ago at which time I had a small grocery store on Baldwin Street (College and Spadina area) referred to as Kensington Market, in Toronto, Ontario.
The story I am about to tell you requires that you take a quick bathroom break.
It was a Saturday in the month of either July or August 1972 or 73, a very hot day.
The day before, a Friday, someone from the Ontario Food Terminal called me and told me that he had a container of the East Indian variety of mango coming up from Trinidad to Miami and from Miami by truck to Toronto, Canada.
He asked me if I wanted to come down to the terminal, examine it, taste it, and make a deal.
I thought to myself ?Why not! Therefore, I went down to the Food Terminal.
He opened the container, took out a tray of mangoes. I opened the tray and there were 12 mangoes inside.
So good, beautiful, bright yellow in colour, I wish I had a camera to take a picture.
I picked up one mango, wiped it on my shirt sleeve and I began to eat it.
I heard bells ringing and a choir of angels singing.
My mouth was dripping mango juice all over the place. All along, the guy was telling me that there were 4,000 cases in the container.
Each mango was worth $1.00 street value, and if I were able to sell it within 24 hours I would probably collect $48,000.00.
At that moment, not only I heard bells ringing and a choir of angels singing but I heard trumpets too!
After finishing the mango, I wiped my hands on my pants. Clapped my hands together, rubbing my palms together a few times, and I said to the guy: Lets make a deal. (This was before the game show Lets Make A Deal Began.)
I asked a couple of questions.
1) Why do I have to sell within 24 hours?
2) How much the container would cost me?
I received the answer on the first question: That this variety of mango will suddenly have small black spots appearing on the skin and the spots will enlarge anytime soon since it was travelling from Trinidad to Miami and from Miami to Toronto for the last 15 days under extreme heat conditions.
The next question was: How much I had to pay for the container? He responded: $10,000.
I paused for a second and I said to him:
Man, did you just escape from a mental institution asking for $10,000, when a bungalow house at Queen and Pape or Carlaw cost $10,000.
I further told him to come to his senses.
I figured that since I have to sell the mangoes within 24 hours and the black spots will appear at any time soon, I would give him $2,000.00 for the whole container and I would allow him to eat as many mangoes that he wanted provided that he dropped off the container on Baldwin Street.
He finally came to his senses and he agreed on the deal.
This is exactly what happened. Now we had to act quickly, I only had 24 hours and the clock was ticking away.
The container was immediately moved to Baldwin Street. It was late and with no traffic, we found a spot in front of the store.
I had spent the night guarding the container from potential mango thieves.
My day started on Saturday at 3:00 a.m. I displayed 30 to 40 cases of mangoes on the sidewalk and I placed the sign, $1.00 each. Usually, people come early to the Market to avoid the pedestrian traffic since the streets were closed off to cars on the weekends.
By 5:00 a.m., I estimate that I had sold approximately 2,000 mangoes at $1.00 a piece.
When the sun came up, I began to notice the black spots. That was a sign letting me know that the new price would be 2 mangoes for $1.00.
A new wave of customers was arriving, they found the price interesting, and I sold another 10,000 mangoes.
I hired some kids to pick up the seeds and skin discarded on to the streets because people were eating the mangoes right there.
At around 8:00 a.m. the black spots got bigger and in a couple more areas.
I ate some of these mangoes and found that they were pretty good. The black spots were limited to the skin surface only. Therefore, I put a new sign: 3 mangoes for $1.00.
At around 10:00 a.m. another price change:
AS MUCH AS YOU EAT FOR A BUCK.
The whole street was having a mango fiesta.
A water hose was placed for people to wash their hands.
A group of Hari Krishnas happened to arrive at the scene and found a location to play their music and a group of hippies was trying to sell some special herb referred to as marihuana.
By 2:00 p.m. I still had a considerable amount of mangoes left in the container with many black spots and if I did not get rid of them I would have to pay to dump them because flies of all colour, creeds and religions began to appear. Therefore, my only solution was to find a way to get rid of all the mangoes.
At around 3:00 p.m. another price change:
At around 4:00 p.m. I was now willing to pay people 5 cents for every mango they ate.
I remember one guy ate 40 mangoes and collapsed. The name of the sickness is M.O.C.S.
Mango overeating collapse syndrome.
My little helpers all become businessman selling paper towels for 10c.
I also found out that some were stealing the mangoes although they were for free.
What a day! That was one of the best days of my life.
I had people enquire as to what fruit it was since mangoes were not popular in Canada.
Mangoes were only common to certain nationalities and since there were not too many people from the Philippines, Africa, India, or China, only the few nationalities from the Caribbean who were regular residents in Toronto were familiar with the fruit.
Therefore, mango was a thing some people had heard of, but never tried.
It is very important to note now that the particular mango I had at that time was the East Indian mango, one of four (4) best mangoes that I mentioned above.
The picture of the East Indian mango variety is portrayed on my can of Mango Puree.
How did you like the story so far?
To me it was an experience of a lifetime.
Despite the fact that I was happy to recover my initial investment and make some profit in the end the knowledge that I achieved that day was priceless.
That was a period when I was learning the behaviour of the different nationalities entering my store.
Now, forty (40) years later, I produce over 1,000 products from all over the world to satisfy every nationality in this multicultural society of Canada, with the best that the world has to offer.
Maybe that is why today, New Years Day, January 1, 2012, I am in the office writing whatever I have in mind as a welcome to the New Year.
In fact, right now I am enjoying the mango that you see in the picture that was given to me by one of long time Caribbean store keeper/owner as a New Years gift.
Spyros Peter Goudas
Spyros Peter Goudas
Σπύρος Πήτερ Γούδας