Parcel-Post Food Gifts

By Victoria Pesce Elliott

Published on February 25, 2013

In summer, my husband, Eric, and I harvest hundreds of pounds of mangos from our Miami yard. We've become my parents. When I was a kid, their trees produced so many mangos that they took up the kitchen table, counters, most of the dining room and patio, and three freezers. We made chutneys, pies, salsas, ice cream, and even wine. But the fruit still piled up. Mom started sneaking them out by way of the U.S. mail. During my years in New York, I waited for the boxes of sweet Hadens, Carries, and Valencia Prides packed in wads of the Miami Herald. These days Eric and I send out our own. Along with the fruit, we pack a loaf of walnut-specked mango bread from a recipe Mom created. Last year I received a card in return that reinforced the beauty of our far-flung gifts. It was from Vishwesh Bhatt, a chef friend from India, who now lives in Oxford, Mississippi. "This is the most amazing present I have ever gotten," his note said. "It tastes like home." What a joy it is to special-deliver such pleasure to my pals.

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