The normally docile Mango (Fruitius yummius) can be quite vicious when cornered. Read the following tale of a first-hand encounter with this notorious Beast of the Fruit World.
...about a month ago, Brandi and I decided to do our grocery shopping at Harris Teeter. We never go there but there were a few items in the Fresh Seafood section that caught our eye...namely, soft-shelled crab and grouper fillets.
From time to time I'll get a wild hair and decide that the constant barrage of fat and cholesterol (that I may as well be pumping in intravenously) that I put into my body isn't the greatest idea in the history of great ideas. It ranks right up there with Bungee Jumping and Bull Fighting...just silly if you ask me. Who am I to judge?
On said trip to Harris Teeter I picked up a few cans of fruit to enjoy as a tasty snack. I strayed from the usual Fruit Cocktail (which ALWAYS has WAY TOO MANY cherries - and not the good ones) and got a can of Sliced Mango and a can of Cubed Red Papaya...two of my favorites and not something that I eat frequently enough to get burned-out on.
I took the Mango to work with me and planned on having a snack of Sliced Mango and Lemon-Lime Gatorade in the afternoon. As I prepared to open the can of delicious and sweet Mango, I noticed prinited across the top of the can, "Best if used by May 2006".
May 2006? As in, the May that happened 2 years ago, May 2006? Back before I hit the big 3-0, May 2006?
Of course, being the pessimist that I am there was NO WAY that I was going to eat it. But I do love Mango. Just to be on the safe side (and clinging to the hope that there was some way to pull something good out of this) I called Brandi, explained the situation, and waited for the results of her analysis. She researched expiration dates in general and got back to me rather quickly saying that as long as the can was intact, the contents could be a HUNDRED years old and still be perfectly edible. (ed. note - TECHNICALLY, a bicycle is edible but that doesn't mean I'm going to eat it) The research went on to say that some changes in texture and flavor may have occurred over the hundred years (or 2 in this case). To me...stop me if I get too "left field"...to ME...when it changes flavor AND texture it's gone to the Dark Side
"Hey Sweetie...This Mango tastes kinda like I'm eating Astroturf. You think it's still OK?" "Check the Date!"
Mango is sweet therefore it should be sweet AND taste like Mango. If something doesn't TASTE like Mango, then it very likely isn't Mango.
Additionally, Mango is very soft and juicy...VERY JUICY...thusly giving it a very soft and wet texture. If that changed to, say, dry and tinny...you might be eating the can...in which case Mom might want to take away your can opener privileges. But I digress...
To sum things up...I opened the can of Sliced Mango and it smelled funny thusly destroying the hopes of eating Sliced Mango.
As you shop for groceries...Harris Teeter or otherwise...make sure you check the dates on all of your canned goods because Corned Beef and Wood on Rocks or Chicken with Rice and Construction Paper just doesn't sound like something I'd look forward to having for Sunday Dinner.
Y'all keep it fresh now.
*PLEASE don't misunderstand me to say that I dislike Harris Teeter. They offer FINE products. This just illustrates how my luck has a twisted sense of humor and what it does to me when I try to veer a little.