Although they found the community zip line broken the children and their grandparents chatted happily and waved sticks during their pedestrian descent. The path meandered down a mountainside overlooking a dark Honduran tropical jungle ravine. They were content for the hot mid-day sun diminished jungle terrors of large predator snakes, raucous bird song, and howling monkeys. At a turn, they came upon a wild mango tree. They gathered ripe fruit. At home the grandmother prepared it, and they ate.

The following day they were back shaking branches to gather more fruit. The mango aroma mingled pleasantly with the musty dampness of the jungle. This was Eden. Occupants in an overlooking residence came outside and stood in a gawking row, as though they considered gathering mangoes a forbidden activity. The fresh crop was taken home, peeled, prepared and consumed. All was well.

Three days later, the grandmother began to scratch an annoying, supposed, insect bite on her jaw. A couple of days later, it was swollen and spread across her face. It progressively proliferated; neck, chest, arms, legs, a veritable itchy red mess. She analyzed the last week in an attempt to identify something unusual, – a cause of this allergic reaction. Then she hit upon it – the mango.

Dr Google helped. Yes, mangoes contain Urushiol in their skins. This is the same allergen found in poison ivy, poison oak, and sumac as well as traces in pistachios and cashews. Grandmother’s problem was a prolonged exposure, including residues lurking on clothing and jewelry. We conclude this story with a praise for steroids and time, which work their combined magic in dispelling itchy eruptions. We add grandmother’s suspicion of a minor biblical error for the tropical Eden forbidden fruit is, surely, the mango not the apple.

11 thoughts on “MANGO MEMORIES

  1. Hello Jane,

    Glad that all turned out well.

    I snack on cashew nuts everyday – yes, everyday. We buy them raw and steam them – no salt, no sugar. Usually have a shot of whiskey or brandy to go with the snack – about 10 to 12 nuts. Been doing so for almost a decade now – at the end of the day, winding down before bed. I’m probably so full of allergens, must have grown immune to it 🙂

    All good wishes,

  2. Oh so sad! I don’t know about the Honduran mango but the mangos in Southern Asia and the Pacific Islands are beyond belief when it comes to taste. They even have one mango in South India you can eat skin and all. Yes allergies are crippling if you have one so you need to avoid mangos and leave them all for me. Mango season just commenced in Australia and I loaded up at the supermarket this morning. 🙂 Fortunately I’m not allergic to them.

  3. Ohhh Jane, I’m guessing this was you and I remember mangoes from my days in the tropics. We used to eat them in the bath, as their juice stained so. I hope you have recovered now? Hugs Xx

    • Yep, guilty as charged! I didn’t know that the skin stained -the Honduran skins didn’t seem to do so. When we were children a special treat was a “Sucky orange” in the bath. This was an orange into which a lump of sugar was pushed so that one could suck sweet juice out through the sane hole. They were a treat, delicious and very messy!

      • What a fabulous treat… I love it. I was with my Mum and Dad today for lunch and I took one of my knitting buddies along. We were talking about the simple things we did as children. Hugs Xx

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