The entire world is in unison about mangoes being the King of Fruits. In addition to their slurpy goodness, mangoes are loaded with healthy nutrients. Their succulent pulp is also used to prepare delectable dishes, both sweet and savoury.
This appealing fruit is seasonal and makes its grand appearance mid-summers. There are approximately 1400 varieties of mangoes available in India alone. Each variety has an exquisite and distinct aroma and flavour. Spoilt for choice, let’s join the exciting quest to find the most popular amongst this wide range. After many mouth-watering revelations, we’ve zeroed in on some of the most delectable varieties out there.
One of the most preferred varieties of mangoes, Alphonso is celebrated for its delectable sweetness. This variety of mango gets its name from the Portuguese General Afonso de Albuquerque, who helped establish a Portuguese colony in India. In the 15th century, Portuguese introduced grafting on mango trees to produce this incredible variety.
Strikingly orange in colour, Alphonso is also known as Hapus mangoes in India. They were given the title King of Mangoes for their classic sweet taste and royal reddish-yellow colour. Oval in shape, the fruit has a juicy, firm and fibreless pulp. Unlike other mangoes which have a short shelf-life, Alphonso stays fresh for three weeks. Its season is from May to June and is available in parts of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. Its place of origin is Maharashtra.
Alphonso pulp blends brilliantly into a delightful mix-blitz mango shake. Another popular way of enjoying it is in aamras and puri. This is the variety of mango used to make Saraswat dishes. It can be consumed unripe as well as ripe.
This variety of mango has its royal history. Dasheri is known to be the oldest mango, first cultivated by the Nawabs of India. It was sometime in the 18th century that a seedling was discovered. Since then it has been protected as a treasured variety.
It is tremendously sweet and has earned the nickname “chusne wala aam”. It is native to a village near Malihabad in Uttar Pradesh. The name Dasheri comes from the Dasheri village where the 200-year-old fruit-bearing mother plant still exists. This variety has a protracted shape and is green in colour. Its season is from June to July. The unique taste of Dasheri mangoes is perfect for making delicious chutneys.
Again native to UP, this variety of mango gets its name when Sher Shah Suri, who when celebrating his victory over Humayun, lent his favourite mango the name of the city, Chausa. These mangoes came from the town of Chausa in Bihar, which is the great warlord’s homeland.
These mangoes have an alluring aroma and a very sweet taste. They are famously called the ‘sucking’ variety and are available mostly in North India. They have a lovely bright yellow colour. These mangoes are available only in July and August, which is towards the end of the mango season.
These are small oval-shaped mangoes that flaunt a yellowish-green colour. Interestingly, they get their name from the fact that they were first grown by a farmer with a limp, hence came to be known as Langra mangoes.
These mangoes are sweet because they naturally contain a high amount of fructose. Their enticing scent becomes stronger after ripening. Unfortunately, they cannot be stored for too long. This variety is loved in Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. From mango ice cream to mango and cream, enjoy it any way you like.
Also called Safeda mango, Badam aam, Chappatai, this variety of mango is fondly referred to as the Pride of India. It originated from Banaganapalle, a town in Andhra Pradesh and is amongst the earliest varieties of mangoes in India. It has a yellow hue with a white tint and is oval-shaped with a slight slant.
Its pulp has no fibre and is creamy in texture. Hence, it lends itself beautifully to mouth-watering milkshakes and other desserts. Its soft skin can be eaten and is used to make preservatives. Its season starts early in March and extends right up to June.
This saffron-coloured mango, just like its namesake, Kesar, has a wonderful fragrance. When stored, its fragrance wafts through your home. Its pulp is Kesari or saffron in colour. It is round in shape and yellow in colour with a hint of green and red. It was first grown in 1931 Junagadh Wazir Sale Bhai. It is now grown in Girnar Mountains of Junagadh, Gujarat. This variety is only available from May to July in Ahmedabad.
It is also used to prepare aamras, however, its sweetness is a bit fainter than the famous Alphonso. It is also used in many Indian dishes.
Though most popular in South India, Totapuri is also grown in Gujarat and Maharastra. It is available in June and July. As the tip of this mango resembles a parrot’s beak you can recognize this variety easily. It has a yellow-green hue with a hint of red. These mangoes are medium in size and not very sweet. Hence, they are great pickles, salads and tart juices.
More Mango Trivia
Mangoes are high in natural sugars. Hence, diabetics should avoid indulging in them too much. However, they are still good for lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation of the heart, and stabilizing the digestive system. They are also packed with vitamins & minerals and are low in fats. Mango season brings with it lots of tasty foods like mango pickle, mango shake, mango ice cream and much much more. So enjoy as much as you can this tropical wonder before the season ends!