The Aam-azing season of mangoes is here! Summer = Mangoes, an equation you can never go wrong with. When the harsh, scorching summer sun looks at you with a grin, stare back at it with a mango in your hand and a smile on your face!
Here are some places around India you must travel to if you ardently love mangoes.
The beautiful city nestled in the south has a variety of attractions to lure you, should you visit Andhra make sure you taste its yummy mangoes. From the most succulent fruits to the sweetest ones, you’ll find your love for mangoes all satisfied here.
Banganapalli: Also known by the name of Bagan Phali and Safeda, it is one of Andhra’s most loved and consumed varieties of mangoes. Sweet juices ooze out of its elliptical yellow body take you to its origin in a small, humble town of Banganapalli. The pulp of this mango is fibreless. Season - April to June
Himayat: They also go by the names of Imam Pasand, Himayuddin, Humayun Pasand and himma pasand. Its etymology gives you a sweet reckoning of its royal legacy that it was emperor Humayun’s favourite. These mangoes are known for their sweetness. This variety of mangoes is popularly eaten after May.
A place that has recently upped its tourism game because Nalanda University got stamped by the UNESCO, Bihar is here to break all the stereotypes in more ways than one with its aamazing delights.
Chaunsa: This breed of mangoes especially caters to your late season mango cravings. A late entrant in the mango competition, they taste the best when their juices are sucked out of their adorable yellow skin leaving out a fresh aroma. This variety seems to have originated in the Sindh region of Pakistan. Season - June to August.
Known for their love for food, Gujaratis not only eat dhoklas and undhiyos with passion, but also make sure their summers meals have aamras puri.
Kesar: With an aroma and colour resembling that of saffron, the Junagarh district in Gujarat has the largest cultivar of Kesar. Grown at the foothills of mount Girnar, this fruit simply fills your home with an aromatic fragrance. This mango is known for its bright orange coloured pulp and was given the geographical indication status in 2011. Season - May to Early July
Uttar Pradesh is so vast and diverse that it could be a country in itself. From the love-ridden walls of Agra to the ascetic Benarasi Sadhus, from the Lucknowi nawabs to the Buddhist monks at Sarnath, from erotic Khajuraho motifs to the devoutly religious trenches of Vrindavan and Mathura, Uttar Pradesh is the mother of all schizophrenia personalities you’ll ever meet. Ever wondered what variety of mangoes will you get in Uttar Pradesh?
Dashehari: It gets its name from a small village called Dashehari near Malihabad in Lucknow. Its 200-year-old mother tree still resides in the village. Squeeze its luscious skin giving it a gentle rub, tear off a part of its green drape and suck its juicy yellow pulp.
Langra: The Langra, also known as Banarasi Langra, is a mango cultivar primarily grown in Banaras. A name that reckons an image of a person limping may sound repulsive, but is nonetheless, one of the oldest variety of mangoes that has been around for years now. Legend has it that it first bore fruits in an orchard farm of a lame person in Varanasi, and that’s how it got its name. As opposed to its name, the variety is considered to be superior.
While Jharkhand has attracted a horde of xylophiles despite the constant tribal hullabaloo that encapsulates it, Jharkhand is mostly viewed as the mining capital of India. This time, Jharkhand has a sweet surprise for you.
Gulaab Khaas: Gulaab Khaas has a euphonious name that reminds you of the beauty, grace, and sweetness of a rose. And rightfully so, Gulaab Khaas has a subtle rosy flavour accompanied by a sweetish aroma camouflaged under a blushing pink skin. Its non-fibrous pulp comes handy to make mango-based desserts. It’s relatively small in size and available from May to June.
A cosmopolitan mishmash of beauty, culture and couture, Karnakata adopts a very mod and stylish modus vivendi. Mangoes form an inseparable part of its living during the scalding summers.
Totapuri: If you carefully pay more attention to the name, you’ll realise that there’s a parrot (tota) hidden in its name. It is because the tip of mangoes resembles the beak of a parrot. If you’re not into overly sweet things, this is the one that you are looking for. It’s great for salads and pickles. Season – June to July
God’s own country and king of fruits, what an ideal match! While Kerala is known for its surreal backwaters, verdant tea plantations and reverberating culture, it is also known for its mango cultivars.
Chandrakaran: Known to be one of the most popular and expensive varieties of mangoes grown in Kerala. It is used to make a sweet-sour ripe mango curry.
Moovandan: This variant is found in Kerala throughout the mango season. Most of the foodies prefer to have the moovandan mangoes when it's nearly-ripe with salt and spices
Boasting of an enviable coastline, Maharashtra in itself is a cultural hub that is waiting to be explored. Known for producing the king of mangoes, Maharashtrians never go to bed without having a mango or two.
Alphonso: If the mango is the king of fruits, then Alphonso is the emperor of their entire kingdom. Named after the Portuguese sailor Afonso de Albuquerque, who established colonies in Goa, it is one of the most expensive and exceedingly imported mangoes of India. Also known as hapoos, the best ones are said to come from the coastal town of Ratnagiri. This mango brings sunshine to your plate in a jiffy with its deep saffron-yellow-coloured look and sweet taste. Season – May to June
Pairi: This variety of mangoes hits the market early in the season. Known to be fibrous and juicy, it is one of the most popular choices for aamras in the western states of India.
West Bengal is layered with history and culture deposited over centuries and its every part leads to a unique discovery. This land of many faces will stun you with its tasty mangoes.
Himsagar: A fibre-less, bright yellow mango that oozes out a creamy sweet pulp comes from the Nawabi city of Murshidabad. Playing an emcee to many other varieties of mangoes, Murshidabad is famous for Kishan Bhog, Nawabpasand and Begumpasand. Himsagar mangoes are found only for four weeks between May and early June.
A place that is known for its temples, be it the one that worships the sun or an incarnation of Vishnu, Orissa is much more than your regular stereotype. And while you uncover its beauty, we urge you to savour the unique flavour of its mangoes.
Amrapali: A hybrid variety of Dashehari and Neelum, these mangoes are small, yet powerful - not only are they wonderfully rich and orange colour, but also are they packed with a lot of flavour. Its dwarf orchard can be easily grown in a pot that can carry 50kg of mud. This hybrid plant grows as tall as 3-metres and takes around 3 complete years to bear fruits. This variety grows all-year-round generating a non-seasonal, continual revenue.
Author: Winnie Karnik