Eat Your Way Through These Delicious Mango Destinations in India
Let’s admit it, cherries are sexy. Strawberries are very sexy. Heck, even grapes are sexy. But, mangoes? Not really.
With their rather rotund and cute appearance, mangoes don’t exactly scream seduction. But when Katrina gently squeezed this fruit in an ad, the entire male (and some part of the female) population was willing to give an ‘aam’ and a leg to be a mango. Suddenly, mangoes were sexy. And our entire nation has been indulging in the pleasure of this fruit over summer, albeit with its own varieties of mangoes.
We put together a list of mangoes from different parts of the country for your enjoyment. We are told salivating is a predictable side effect.
Pulpy, deliciously sweet and juicy, the Alphonso has the people of Maharashtra sighing with pleasure. You can tell Alphonsos take their position as ‘the king of fruits’ quite seriously – what with them flaunting a potbelly and being generous with their rich flavour. While the Alphonsos are a favourite to eat, the payari and totapuri mangoes find their place in the sun as the preferred varieties for making juices and desserts.
Like everything else, Delhi does its mango-eating in ishtyle! Not to settle for just one variety, mangoes in Delhi range from the ever-popular Safeda to Chausa to the Dasheri. Each of these varieties has its own story to tell. For example, Dasheri gets its name from Malihabad in Lucknow where it has been grown since the 18th century.
(I imagine there would have been a time in the past when a Dasheri would have made some queen very, very happy.)
You can be pretty sure that if there’s a song dedicated to it, its something everyone loves. And the Malgova mango from Tamil Nadu actually has a rhyme to its name! The sad part though? This much loved mango, often served as a dessert, is disappearing from tables in Tamil Nadu. Locals say the steep prices are to blame.
The people of Andhra Pradesh indulge in their love for mangoes with the Banganapalli, Rasalu and Himayat varieties. The Himayat variety is also called Imam Pasand and is touted to have a taste that can challenge the Alphonso. It is said to have been the fruit of choice for India’s royalty.
Alphonso has its lovers in Gujarat. But it finds stiff competition in the Kesar mango which is grown in the state and holds a special place in the hearts of people here. Junagadh, in Saurashtra, is the home of the Kesar mango. No summertime meal is complete without puri and ras, so the Kesar mango gets squeezed for all its worth.
Picking a favourite has to be tough for the people of West Bengal. They love their Langra variety but there’s just so much to choose from! The state has everything – from the Banganpalli coming in from Andhra Pradesh to the Gulabkhaas coming in from Bihar. The locally grown mangoes, Bombai and Himsagar, are also popular. Himsagar has a delicious aroma and is musky sweet in taste, making it a hit with children and adults alike.
(Mansi Shah is founder of the blog Damsel in Destress which reviews experiences as varied as spas, books and plays. Mansi is, by her own admission, “clueless” at 30 with an easy penchant for humour.)
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