The shape is perfection personified, each curve sharply accentuating every contour and the color of the body a visual treat to the senses. A hint of unbridled passion envelops the luscious body with the promise of a juicy encounter as I am teasingly tempted.
I succumb to temptation and give in to the hegemony of my senses. I take a deep breath, and I am intoxicated by the heavenly aroma and then I gently sink my teeth into this exotic creation of God.
What did you think I was doing?
I was doing what millions of people in India and other Asian countries have been doing every summer for ages.
I was eating a MANGO!
Come summer and this king of fruits holds sway like no other over the hearts and minds of people. Markets are a sea of green and yellow/orange as the luscious fruit occupies pride of place.
Some Juicy Mango Facts
- The Mango is a juicy stone fruit that belongs to the genus Mangifera
- The Mango originated in South East Asia and India, references to mangoes in Hindu writings that date back to 4000 B.C.
- India is the largest producer of Mangoes in the world and 42.2 % of the mangoes produced in the world are produced in India
- Mangoes are cultivated over 1.23 million hectares of land in India
- Mangoes occupy a special place in Hindu religion and culture, Mangoes are used as offering to deities and Mango leaves are used to decorate houses on all auspicious occasions like festivals, weddings, etc..
Mind Boggling Varieties of Mangoes
In India you are spoilt for choice when it comes to varieties of Mangoes, there are hundreds of varieties of Mangoes that are available here across different parts of the country. The rich diversity of the country is epitomized by the rich variety of Mangoes.
Come, join me on a juicy journey to discover the most rich and exotic varieties of Mangoes across the length and breadth of India.
Our first port of call has got to be Ratnagiri, situated in Maharashtra, one of the western states of India. Ratnagiri is the home of the famed ALPHONSO Mango. This is the most expensive variety of Mango and is unparalleled in terms of its taste and flavor.
From here we travel further south to reach Karnataka, one of the Southern states of India where we discover a Mango known as Badami. The texture and taste of this fruit is quite similar to the Alphonso and hence it is also know as Karnataka Alphonso.
As we move further south and reach the state of Andhra Pradesh, we shall yield to the tempting sweetness of the Banganapalli Mango which is also available in most of the other southern states.
We next take a U-turn and take a leap to the historic city of Varanasi in the northern part of India where the luscious LANGRA Mango awaits to enthrall us with its sweet and juicy flavor. Though originally from Varanasi, this variety is now available across North India, including Delhi.
From Varanasi we head towards Lucknow which was the seat of power of the Nawabs in the 18th and 19th centuries, to taste the succulent CHAUNSA Mango. This variety of Mango is abundant in Pakistan, but is also cultivated near Hardoi located near Lucknow. Chaunsa literally means ‘Sucker’, and it refers to the act of sucking out the juice from this mango which is very fleshy and has a unique aroma.
Onward we march on our Mango trail and reach the remote village of Dashehari in Malihabad district in Uttar Pradesh, a northern state of India. This village is the birth place of the famous DASHEHARI Mango, and the original mother tree which is over 200 years still stands. The region of Malihabad is abundant in this variety of Mangoes which are now available across Northern India. The Dashehari Mango deceives by its appearance as it has a green skin but when you bite into it you are transported into a different world on the wings of its sweetness.
Let us head back southwards again to experience the sweetness of another unique variety known as TOTAPURI Mango, which is found mainly in Karnataka and other southern states. These mangoes are different from your normal mangoes in terms of appearance, they are sleeker and longer and around 7 inches in length. The colour of these mangoes range from green to yellow to a reddish hue. This mango is a personal favorite, but I prefer to eat it raw. You can experience Mango Nirvana when you partake slices of a fresh raw mango of this variety sprinkled with salt and chilly powder. The sweet and sour taste of the mango combined with the salt and chilly flavors is sure to set of a thousand bells in your mind and your palate will be left asking for more!
Before we lose all sense of time and place and are completely drowned in the heady tastes and aromas of these mind boggling mangoes, let us bring our juicy journey to an end, however let me tell you that this indeed is just the tip of the ice berg! There are still hundreds of varieties of Mangoes out there waiting to be discovered!
How to eat your Mango and have it too!
The beauty of this luscious fruit does present a dilemma, to eat it or keep it?
However it is a foregone conclusion that the fruit is too tempting to let go and one ends up devouring it and experiencing bliss. There are many ways this fruit, a gift to the tongue can be eaten I mention a few modes by which you can have this heavenly experience.
- The simplest form of pleasure is to simply wash the fruit cleanly and cut off the tip after which the world belongs to you and your fruity mate. A useful tip to remember here is that you may want to remove the skin or eat the fruit with the skin, the skin may be tasteless or bitter based on the Mango variety
- Cool off with a cold glass of Mango juice or Mango milk shake or a Mango Lassi which is a blend of ripe mangoes, yogurt and sugar
- Taste a scoop of heaven when you dig in to a bowl of Mango ice cream
- If you want to spice up your Mango experience, give your tongue a sizzling experience with some spicy pickle made out or raw Mangoes
There are numerous other ways you can experience the magic of mangoes, you may check out some mango based recipes here.
I do hope you have enjoyed our magical journey on the trail of the magical mangoes of India.
Have you experienced the Mango Magic, do share your experiences through your comments.
Did you like this post? If you love food then you might also be interested in reading our other posts related to food.