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Sunday, March 3, 2024
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Making most of mango season

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The mango season brings cheers to both the young and the old to enjoy the choicest king of fruits in the best time of the year. Alphonso mangoes provide the best taste and the mango shake with plenty of milk and sugar added in an ice cool state is a nourishing food during the summer season. People from South make Manga Kadi during this season. Apart from Appus, Mumbai happen to get Desari, Badami and Banganapilli mangoes of sweet taste and good quality. Market is full of mangoes and one can pick and choose of his time in the 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 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 into pieces and push of the mango seed from his mouth straightaway. While staying in Chinchwad, Pune, my balcony top had a mango tree and the choicest fruit is just away from hands distance and I used to grab one in the evening after coming from office and taste it for my evening tiffin. 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 right combination. Mango means munch, munch and yummy and all the age people 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 Mumbai’s Haji Ali Juice Centre.

Mango season marks summer season in Mumbai. During this peak season of Mangoes, the fruit is a luxury for the poor, affordable for the middle class people and for the rich it is their main side dish in their meals. Gujarati’s taste Aamras during this season and preserve it for the off season as well. Even though there is 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.

Generally, the middle class is waiting for the prices to come down to affordable rates before thinking of buying.  In our family we just purchase Appus once for the sake of tasting. While walking across the gardens we find mangoes on the trees. But they are not found in arms distance and we can try to get one from atop of the tree by throwing stones at them and wait for them to fall on the ground. By picking one from the tree tastes better as we have put it lot of efforts to get the same. The best piece is the one that was tasted by the parrots first and leaving it at half way stage to get the taste of the other part. The favourite recipe is the mango juice available without ice and no flavours added to the spoil the real taste of it. Mango and summer go hand in hand and taking up limited amount of mango fruit is good as the same is hot and may sprout boils in your body later on.

The consignment of Alphonso mangoes to UK were once rejected as they fruits were ripened by chemical application. Mango exports to the U.S. have been restricted to the air-route as the fruit ripens rapidly once harvested. Following the strict norms imposed by the U.S. on import of the fruit, shipments needs 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 indicate that only 2 per cent is exported. This year, around 175 tonnes of mangoes was 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 capable of handling more mangoes. Mango business is thriving in India and with more and more support from the government we can see booming business in the years to come.

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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