The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Going Dutch

April 23, 2014

Green pepper ice cream? Part 1

- — You might like mangoes, and you might like custard. You might even like mango custard. But what would you think of green pepper ice cream? Same thing, to a Pennsylvanian! We all know that mangoes are that delicious, juicy tropical fruit. Well, actually, we don’t all know that.

For years, mango was the word we Pennsylvanians used (some still do) to refer to peppers. Green peppers, red peppers, yellow peppers, orange — it didn’t matter. They were all mangoes. It was common, even 20 or 30 years ago, to see peppers being sold at farmers’ markets innocently advertised as mangoes.

 One woman told me that, growing up in the 1940s and ’50s, her family always called peppers mangoes, and it was years before she learned there was also a fruit by that name. Pennsylvanians traveling to Hawaii might be a little startled to be offered mangoes with their breakfast. And Hawaiians visiting Pennsylvania would surely question the epicurean wisdom of sauteed mangoes on a cheese-steak hoagie.

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Sprecken sie Pennsylvaniaish?