Pakistani Mangoes Set to Sweeten A Sour Chicago Summer
The days are long, and they are hot. Weathering a summer of extreme heat and humidity punctuated by freak thunderstorms is wearing on Chicagoans. You see them on the street and on public transport, their bodies sluggish and their glazed-over stares hiding a desperate craving for something better. Something…juicier.
Soon, however, they will be rewarded. A sweet repayment for their patience is near. Within a month, Chicago-area grocery stores will stack their produce sections with Pakistani mangoes — chaunsas, to be exact. The first shipment arrived Thursday, July 28, bringing what Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani called “two years of strategic dialogue” to fruition, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Twitter feeds and Facebook statuses display Pakistani-Americans’ excitement over this new arrival. Chicago native Gia Ghani, who tweeted her enthusiasm earlier this week says, “I believe this is the first time that there are perishable items being traded between the U.S. and Pakistan so I’m excited about that relationship.” Many note that U.S.-Pakistani relations have deteriorated over the past few months, but we believe mangoes may be the first step in getting things back on track.
Whatever the political outcome, Ghani mirrors others’ feelings in her anticipation of the fruit. “I’m looking forward to eating them!” she says. “No other mango in the world compares to those that are grown in Pakistan and no other mango can evoke the same memories of my childhood visits where I got the chance to enjoy the sweet fruit with my grandparents.”
Pakistani mangoes are here, people. Let’s hope Presidential chai parties are next.
Amina Elahi is Divanee.com’s Managing Editor. She maintains a Tumblr called Fontastic.