Tea Writings

A blog about tea from the desk of Cecilia Tan


December 19, 2009 By: ctan Category: Tea Musings

When I was eleven years old, my family took a month-long trip to the Philippines to visit our many relatives there on my father’s side of the family. One of the revelations of that trip was how incredibly good the fruit was there. At the Silahis Hotel in Manila my father ordered a half of a papaya for breakfast one day, and it was easily the size of a large watermelon, longer than his forearm! (For my part, I discovered the hot rice, ginger, and chicken porridge known as arroz caldo, traditionally served for breakfast, and insisted on having it every day.)

Better even than the papaya was the mango. After spending some time in Manila, we traveled to Cebu City (on the island of Cebu) and in ‘the provinces’ could buy perfectly ripe, huge yellow mangoes every day in the market. We ate them every day for breakfast or for ‘siesta’–the light afternoon meal or snack that came right before naptime. My mother loved them so much that after we came home, one day we were walking down the street in midtown Manhattan when we were stopped by a TV news crew polling people about what they thought the sexiest food was. Nearly everyone else said pizza, but my mother immediately said the mango. They aired her comment and we were all thrilled to see her on TV!

By now you are wondering what this has to do with tea, since this is a tea blog. I’m getting to that. Let it steep. I promise I’ll eventually make some point about food and drink being a cultural connection between people and their families and society at large. Or something. (more…)