This is the season of mangoes and mellow fruitfulness. Lychees, apricots, peaches….all those fruits are seen on the market for a very short time in summer. Mangoes dominate the scene, in the retail stores, at the market, on the pavements. We even have festivals to celebrate this increasingly expensive fruit.
One was recently held at the Bal Gandharva on Jungli Maharaj road. If people had not picked up a dozen of their favourite fruit till then, this was the place they finally gave in and coughed up the dough for twelve of the best. Old and young were seen leaving with their precious load in peshwis, having sniffed out the finest of the lot. I mean what is a Maharashtrian without a mango. A cloud without rain, a book without words, a…a.. pain without paracetemol ?
The number of orchards represented were not as many as in earlier years and the hapus and kesari ruled the show which, personally, I find a bit boring. Considering that India boasts of having such diversity it is a pity not more of the others make their way to this celebration of our most lauded fruit.Where were the Totapuri's, the Dasehri, the Alampur Baneshan,the Chausa,the Sundri,the Mulgoa, the Langra, the Safeda or Banganapalli, the Rumani? The Alphonso is considered the most tasty but its promotion is a bit like ignoring all the other rice varieties because the basmati has gained universal acceptance. Tastes differ. It would be nice to have a bit of choice.
The College of Agriculture in Pune put up a small exhibit here of varieties grown , pictures of which might be helpful in identifying the type of mango you are about to invest in.
Ratna ( a hybrid between Hapus and Sindhu)