Mango Peels, Good Eatin'

Clearly my mango preferences are unique. I am the only one who eats mango peels. First, to all the non-mango eaters – start eating mangoes! They are delicious and nutricious (especially the peels).

So, my first question is where did I pick up such a habit. I’ve eaten mangoes in front of others on a number of occasions. No one has ever corrected my faux pass. “Don’t eat the peel, foo’!”

Furthermore, the peel is actually quite good. I can see why people don’t regularly eat orange peels. Have you ever bitten into an orange peel? It is a bitter peel to swallow. And so, human instinct tells you – EW!, don’t eat that bitter peel. But I have never had such a primal aversion to mango peels.

On the contrary, I would compare mango peels to apple peels. They are crisp and part of the overall mango eating experience. (Which is not dissimilar to the Jimi Hendrix Experience.) I know there are people who prefer not to eat apple peels as well, but not nearly in the majority that you all agreed not to eat mango peels. We can all agree that eating apple peels are an accepted practice in the culinary world.

All this then begs the question: Why not eat mango peels? Is there a medical reason; perhaps mango peels cause liver damage? Is there an environmental theory; perhaps mango peels are especially adept at retaining harmful pesticides and toxins?

Here’s what I think. I believe when the first European was given a mango to eat by his Asian friend, he didn’t eat the peel. An honest mistake. It was a new food and there is always uncertainty as to what is food and what is presentation. (Remember when Bush, Sr. ate the corn husk on his tamale?) Asians, being the polite people that they are, and fearing the mass enslavement of his race as Europeans are want to do to others, did not correct the European’s oversight of the eating of the peel. And so this “European style” of eating mangoes was born and perpetuated through the whole of Europe and later over to the new world.

And now Lordleiter is an eating pioneer starting an eating revolution. You laugh now, but 20, 30 years from now when we are all eating mango peels, you will spin yarns to your grandkids about how there was a time when people didn’t eat mango peels. (Your grandkids will giggle at this part of the story, because of how ludicrous it is for you suggest that people didn’t eat mango peels?)

And then your gaze will move from your grandkids’ eyes and instead focus off to the distance, to some far off place. Almost like you have a window into the glorious past. And then you will tell your grandkids about Lordleiter – the man who pioneered mango peel eating. And you will tell them about how you actually met him once, right before he set off criss-crossing the country planting mango seeds and spreading goodwill…

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