Free Trade

Mango Diplomacy

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image of mango from NYT

(No, I'm not talking about a distant relative of mine in the state department.)

On Friday, Indian mangoes–renowned for their fiberless, flavorful flesh–crossed the U.S. border legally for the first time in 18 years. In early 2006, on a trip to India, President Bush announced new trade agreements and crowed: "The United States is looking forward to eating Indian mangoes."

Those negotiations have, ahem, finally borne fruit. The Hindu reports breathlessly:

A year after the mango initiative was launched by President George W Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the first consignment of Alphonso and Kesari mangoes that landed in Washington yesterday tickled the palate of top American officials, who said it represented more than just a market opening for the fruit.

An excited US Trade Representative Susan Schwab said "the Indian mangoes I enjoyed today represent more than just a market opening for one product."…

The officials said the Indian mango exports signals the resolve of both sides to forge stronger trade ties and create significant new economic opportunities for the people of the two countries.

How long before we see articles fretting about the danger of outsourcing our mango production to India? America must be mango independent! Stop the orange menace!

NEXT: Helping Us Taste the Bite of Death/I Know, I Know My Time has Passed

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  1. This is hilarious. Maybe some “top governmental officials” will visit Cuba, enjoy the cigars, and consequently, lift the embargo.

  2. So what if India locks people up for kissing and periodically threatens the world with nuclear destruction?

  3. Do they glow?

  4. Is it mangoes that have the oil on their rinds that’s similar to poison ivy, that can cause similar allergic responses?

  5. So what if India locks people up for kissing and periodically threatens the world with nuclear destruction?

    Yeah and it’s only gonna get worse now that we’re buying their mangoes!!

  6. I say….nuke the mangoes!!!

  7. lunchstealer,

    I don’t think so, but I refuse to look it up for you.
    I recall an entertaining story about a buddy trying a cashew off the tree in Thailand. Maybe you think of cashews.

  8. lunchstealer,

    Wikipedia says yes. “The mango is in the same family as poison ivy and contains urushiol, though much less than poison ivy. Some people get dermatitis from touching mango peel or sap. Persons showing an allergic reaction after handling a mango can usually enjoy the fruit if someone else first removes the skin. The leaves are toxic to cattle.”

    Think cashews have a similar property.

  9. Quick mango facts from Wikipedia:

    * The mango is a popular fruit with people around the world. However, many mango farmers receive a low price for their produce. This has led to mangoes being available as a ‘fair trade’ item in some countries.

    * There is a unique pigment that cannot be synthesized called euxanthin or euxanthine, and usually known as Indian Yellow, which is produced in the urine of cows fed on mango leaves.

    * The mango is in the same family as poison ivy and contains urushiol, though much less than poison ivy. Some people get dermatitis from touching mango peel or sap. Persons showing an allergic reaction after handling a mango can usually enjoy the fruit if someone else first removes the skin. The leaves are toxic to cattle.

  10. This is good news for George Costanza.

  11. They took errr jerbs!

  12. I’m not talking about a distant relative of mine in the state department.

    That’s a thread winner.

  13. This is good news for George Costanza. – Thoreau

    Not so much for Chris Kattan.

    The GWOT boys want to get India on our good side. With jihadist types facing them over open sights in Kashmir, and Chinese Occupied Tibet on the other side of the Himalayas, the Indian democratic republic seems like a natural ally. As always, making nice with india without pissing off the Pakistanis is a tricky balancing act. It may be a bit simpler these days because New Delhi is not so wedded to doctrinaire Third Way Socialism and “non-alignment.” That both countries are in the nuclear club sucks, too. Perhaps we can cajole them into the non-proliferation agreements, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    Kevin

  14. Now is the time to build our strategic reserves. We don’t want to be held hostage to foreign mango.

  15. Anyone notice the contradictions in PL’s quoted facts? You can get this unique pigment from cow pee after they eat mango leaves, but the next one says that mango leaves are toxic to cattle. Hmm… maybe instead of euxanthin, it should be euthanix or something.

  16. Now that the KFC lawsuit has been dismissed, and we can import cheap foreign mangoes, we can finally have unfettered free market competition between fried chicken and tandoori chicken with a mango sauce.

    Let the market decide!

  17. Interesting, too, that Hindus tortured sacred cattle with their evil mango poison to make some dye.

    One thing Bush has done okay with–and I mean one thing–is building a better relationship with India, all the while keeping Pakistan happy. That’s actually rather amazing. Must be happenstance.

  18. I wouldn’t think Indian mangoes fit in too well with the whole Think Global, Eat Local movement. Better the people of Montana develop scurvey than be allowed to eat tropical fruit from outside the state anyway.

  19. I’m disgusted with Katherine Mango-Ward’s…..OK, not funny enough to go on.

  20. Good news. I love mangoes, but the Mexican ones we get here in the southwest are really stringy, and only really good when you can get them ripe at the store. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for Indian mangoes.

  21. PL,
    More info on Indian Yellow.

    As for the quality of Indian Mango vs. Central American grown ones, how much more green to you figure they will have to be picked to be in salable shape when they reach our shores? I don’t mean air-freighted in at $15 bux a piece either, but supermarket quality and price.

  22. This is all a plot by the evil Mango KKKorporations! End globalization now!

  23. Actually, the wiki entry also said that some view the mango as verboten under the “fair” trade school of thought. Apparently, mango-picking doesn’t pay very well.

  24. Oh, here’s a tip for all you grill-heads – Grilled mango fillets. Set them over the dying embers while you eat the main course. Done right they should have charred grill marks with good caramelization. Just scoop loose from the skin. Top with Ice-cream or mix with sweet-potatoes as side dish.

    Truly one of my better charcoal experiments.

  25. Warren,

    Will do!
    Sounds interesting! (great?)

  26. Mango works with grouper, too. Though I’m currently more intrigued by the possibilities of macadamia nuts and lobster cream sauce when mated with mahi mahi. I just went to one of Roy Yamaguchi’s restaurants, you see (I had the ahi–outstanding–but I had mahi mahi envy).

  27. The only problem with getting mangoes from India is that if you ever have to call the help desk for mango support, half the time they can’t understand what you’re saying or vice versa.

    Well, let’s see if this trade continues without protectionist blowback. I expect this deal to be assailed by domestic fruit interests, such as Big Apple.

  28. I expect this deal to be assailed by domestic fruit interests, such as Big Apple.

    iProtectionism?

  29. Done right they should have charred grill marks with good caramelization.

    Um, what happens when they go wrong?

    Zombies?

    I really hope zombies.

  30. I’m disgusted with Katherine Mango-Ward’s…..

    Knock it off, Warren.

    🙂

  31. Wraiths and the URKOBOLD are represented here. I’m sure we could find some residual work for Zombies!

    How well do they team up with Hobgoblins? We could sorta do a riff off the “black cop-white cop” films. And pair it with some sort of car chase. Like “Free Willy”. Just sans whale.

    Have your people fondle my people, and I’ll get back to yooo!

  32. This is almost as exciting as pistacios without all of that annoying red dye.

  33. “Now that the KFC lawsuit has been dismissed, and we can import cheap foreign mangoes, we can finally have unfettered free market competition between fried chicken and tandoori chicken with a mango sauce.”

    Yeah, but God help you if you want to have a little bit of miracle fruit with your mango-infused chicken.

  34. d’oh! couldn’t find the pistachio nut scene from the Naked Gun, but somehow I came across this…

    a bit more exciting…, I guess… um

    hier

  35. YOUR FEEBLE MAGICS CANNOT PENETRATE THE UNHOLY RADIANCE OF MY DARK POWER!

    and then the application of WE Coyote’s Law of Cartoon Inertia.

    Gotta like it!

  36. I wonder how the KFC brouhaha is playing in the ‘ol subcontinent anyway. After all, KFC and Popeyes are huge anywhere there’s a lot of Indians.

  37. I am unequivocally unqualified to comment but I will anyway, in keeping with the situation.

    Carry on.

    Does this have anything to do with ovocados?
    I hate them too.

  38. they send mangoes, australia sends them uranium (even though they are non-signatory to the non-proliferation treaty), both can be made into yellowcake.

    i think its called headging your bets in an asia/pacific power struggle.

    both the us and australia seem to feel its nice to have a democratic,mango supplying, nuclear armed friend in the area

  39. Really wanna squash Indian mango imports? Find out the “Carbon Footprint” of a single imported mango and watch Loving Caring Liberal heads explode.

  40. First we got Shenaz’s Culture Shock on the Travel Channel and now we get mangoes?

    This free trade with India thing is a pretty good deal.

  41. Who says our government gets nothing done?

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