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As we drove home from a great weekend, the signs on the side of the road began to finally get our attention. God knows how many we passed before we started reading them, but after about four, we had each decided we needed to pull over and buy the promised fruit. Mangoes! Strawberries! Blueberries! (Mysteriously formatted as “Blue” “Berries”, but the message got through okay.) We pulled into the rest area, hoping it wouldn’t be too isolated and awkward, but determined to procure a mango. Okay, a couple of mangoes. Wait, why not a whole tray?

A tray of mangoes, from gold to green.

A tray of awesomeness and aromatic glory.

There was a fruit van, a coffee van, a pie truck and a fruit juice truck, each restoring tired travellers in their different ways. It was about an hour’s drive south of Sydney, and there were a lot of ACT numberplates on the cars there: a lot of drivers making the Sydney-to-Canberra run on Sunday afternoon. A tray of mangoes and three avocados secured, we were off!

I’ve never owned a whole tray of mangoes: growing up, we bought them as treats every now and again, on the two or three days per year when they dropped below three dollars each. A tray is a bargain! You get eleven or twelve of the fatties. This is the most decadent thing I’ve ever owned. They’re a nice mix of ready-to-eat and needing-ripening. We’ve started picking out recipes for them: when you’ve got this many mangoes, you can start being adventurous (when you only buy them one at a time, which is what happens with Canberra prices, you cherish your precious annual mango and don’t dare experiment beyond slicing and eating plain).

A close up of a single mango in my hand.

Behold the golden orb.

Ooooh, the ideas we’ve got for these fat babies. We’re going sweet, we’re going savoury; we’re going tangy and delicious; we’re going south-east Asian-inspired, we’re going Cali-Mex, we’re going Nouvelle Australienne. We’re going breakfasts, desserts, lunches and dinners. We’re going all out. Stay tuned! The first is gone, celebrated in the classic sliced and peeled way, and some cubes mixed in to fresh yoghurt for the flavours to infuse overnight. Well worth it.

(I’m couching our plans in vague adjectives and stylistic lists because if we give in to gluttony and simplicity and eat them all, plain and raw, in some sort of fruity orgy, I want to be able to retract delicately from my lofty plans.)

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