Some of you may already know that I enjoy eating the occasional gloriously messy mango whilst perched over the sink. As you can see from the above pic, that's not the only way I like to savor this supremely refreshing tropical fruit.
Years ago a friend hipped me to the practice of sprinkling my mango with salt and hot sauce. His wife was from Guyana and she always had a bottle of homemade Scotch bonnet pepper sauce. Actually it wasn't so much a sauce as a fiery mix of chopped bright orange and yellow peppers floating in vinegar. This wasn't the first time I encountered this combination though. Back in my college days me and some friends used to have contests to see who could eat the most Patak's mango pickle. Straight out of the jar, mind you, with little more accompaniment than pappadam. It's been some time since I've had a hankering for the mango and chile flavor combo. I'm pretty sure the last time I ate mango this way I used Sriracha, which turned out to be quite good. This afternoon I found myself craving this hot, juicy summertime treat. I decided to ramp up the heat factor by more than a few Scoville units. I was recently given a bottle of El Yucateco habañero hot sauce for my birthday by my friend Willyum. It's one of my favorite hot sauces, and just because it came into the world in 1968, the same year as yours truly.
Armed with my hot sauce, some kosher salt, a tub of mango from the greengrocer and a requisite combination of appetite and masochism I got the chile-mango party started. A sprinkle of salt and a few drops of the intense green sauce and I was ready to go. When the chile-laced mango hit my tongue I yelled "Woo!" For me this is a good reaction to spiciness, a bad reaction usually involves the inability to speak. After the initial shock I thoroughly enjoyed the interplay of the heat combined with the crunch of the salt and the cool, sweet, smooth mango. For a moment I thought of trying the mango with some of other incendiary condiments I have lying around. I even opened the fridge and eyeballed a jar of Walkerswood Jamaican Jerk Seasoning. But I nixed that idea, after all, I'm not completely crazy
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