Flat Earth: Stone me . . .

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The Independent Online
TALKING of mangoes, as one does, we think we detected signs last week that a fearful mango struggle is shaping up on the subcontinent. Just as India was about to open an International Mango Festival in Delhi, to show off its 2,000 varieties, cases of Pakistani mangoes from Sindh started turning up in the offices of people in high places in Britain, sent to them, it seems, by Benazir Bhutto herself. India hit back by rushing out thousands of brochures telling foreigners how to eat the splendid mangoes of India.

The Indians, who produce 10 million tons a year but export only 26,000 tons, realise that fastidious Westerners do not know how to deal with this admittedly difficult fruit. But you shouldn't be put off. The proper way to eat a mango, as our office manager Heather points out, is quite simple: stand partly clothed or naked in a river - or the sea will do - and eat the fruit with the juice dripping down your chin. You may also wish to hum under your breath James Bond's opening words to Honeychile Rider in Dr No: 'Underneath the mango tree, mi honey an' me . . .'

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