Munch Munch Mangoes

The mango season brings cheer to both the young and the old to enjoy the king of fruits in the best season of the year. Appus mangoes provide the best taste and the best mango shakes with plenty of milk and sugar added in an ice cool state is a nourishing food during the summer season.  People from South India make mangakadi in this season.  Apart from appus, Mumbai happens to get desari, badami and banganapilli mangoes of sweet taste and good quality. The market is full of mangoes and one can pick and choose of his type in this busy season. However, chemical ripening of the fruits is causing ripples in the minds of people taking this delicious fruit.

Adulteration in food items is passed on to mangoes and other fruits as well in the name of early ripening of raw fruit. The small one is the delicious one. One of my uncles used to consume it in full, instead of cutting it into pieces and pushed of the mango seed from his mouth, straight away.

While staying in Chinchwad, Pune, my balcony top had a mango tree and the most lovable fruit was just a hands distance away and I used to grab only one in the evening after coming back from the office and tastes it for my evening tiffin.

Summers are for mangoes and nostalgia.

Ladies from Kerala prepare good pickles out of mangoes and preserve it for taking it with curd rice. Curd rice and mango pickle is the good combination.

Mango means munch, munch people of all ages like it in one way or the other. But, the best of the best is the mango and cream bowl made with Alphonso mango at that prepares Mumbai’s Haji Ali Juice Centre.

The mango season marks the summer season in Mumbai. During this peak season of mangoes, the fruit is luxury for the poor, affordable by the middle class people and for the rich it plays their main side dish role in their meals. Gujarati’s taste ‘aam Russ’ during this season and preserve it for the off- season as well.  Even though there is a bumper crop this season, the rates of appus mango is not coming down. Drastically, making people think twice before buying from the retail or the wholesale market.

For the love of mangoes

Everyday is ‘Mangonificient’.

Generally, the middle class is waiting for the prices to come down to affordable rates (so that they can buy their favourite fruit). In our family we just purchase appus once for the sake of tasting it. While walking across the gardens we see mangoes on the trees.  But they are not found at arms distance and we can try to get one from top of the tree by throwing stones at them and wait for them to fall on the ground. Picking one from the tree tastes better as we have put a lot of efforts to get it. The best piece is the one that was tasted by the parrots first and left at the half- way stage to get the taste of the other part. The favoruite recipe is the mango juice available without ice preservative. Mangoes and summer go hand in hand and taking up a limited amount of mango fruit is good as it is hot and may sprout boils in your body later on.

The consignment of alphonso mangoes to the UK were once rejected as they were ripened by chemical application. Mango exports to the U.S. have been restricted to the air-route as the fruit ripens rapidly once it’s harvested. Following the strict norms imposed by the U.S. on import of this fruits, shipments need to undergo irradiation, which kills pathogens and other bacteria. Fifty-two per cent of the world’s mango production is in India. However, official figures indicates that only two per cent is exported. This year, around 175 tonnes of mangoes were exported to the U.S. by air. But that was more expensive compared to exports to other countries. The sea route is seen as offering better returns and is also capable of handling more quantity of mangoes. The mango business is thriving in India and with more support from the government we can see booming business in the years to come.

By C.K. Subramaniam