Sunday, June 19, 2005

Aam Bahut Hon Aur Meethey Hon

Oh Mangoes
Originally uploaded by gopoo.

About 150 years back,the famous Mirza Ghalib while sitting with friends and eating mangoes remarked thus when he had eaten yet another irresistable mango.Let there be plenty of them and let them be sweeter.
In the month of June, when mangoes are on the peak,one can really go mad.The botanical name for the fruit is mangifera indica.Thanks,otherwise,even the dasheri and chausa could get patented by the Kellogs and the like.There is competition from Northern Australia,South Africa and Southern USA.But can there be a match to our alfonsos,chausas and langdas?
There is one horticulturist who has become a phenomenon in mango cutivation.He lives in a dusty village some 20km from Lucknow called Malihabad.He is Kaleemullah Khan. And Malihabad is India's mango capital In 20 sq km radius,about 700 varieties of mangoes are grown.And it fetches a whopping Rs150 crores each season.Of course,hopefully,if the mango mukuls(flowers) don't get affected by a cloudy spell.And there is a 90 year old tree on which grows 300 different varieties.
Dassheri,Chausa,Amrapali,Chitla,Sharifa,Abdulla Pasand,Langra,Alphonso,Bombay Green,Banganapalli,Neelam,Swarnarekha and even Prince,Glass and Tommy Atkins.We have close to 1000 varieties which have hit the market this season.
Probably,the quantities would have been more if the Red Dragon had not shown interest in our king of fruits.For the first time,China has lifted the iron curtain on mangoes and there is a flood of mangoes from India and Pakistan.For 20 years we have been trying to export mangoes to Japan and with no luck so far.That speaks volumes of how difficult it is to trade with Japan.

As usual our friend Kaleemullah Khan is the cynosure of all eyes this year also.He has nurtured 300 varieties of mangoes in one tree,has got himself into the Limca Book of Records and this summer his tree was laden with 1000kgs of mangoes.Yeh to mitti ka masla hai!


Lulu said...

if there are so many varities of mangoes then why did you only buy alphonosos for me all the time? i'm sad now that i was not exposed to all these delcious types when i was growing up :(

gs said...

better late than never.and why do you think i posted this? to tempt you and h to return.ha ha ha.

rums said...

uncle i remember eating a particular kind of mango at my grandmother's house in hazaribagh in bihar. these mangoes were green and tiny with bright orange pulp. my youngest uncle taught me to make a hole on the skin and suck the flesh out. those were the best mangoes i have ever tasted!
also i found out recently that we also have several thousand varieties of rice and many of the strains are dying out because there is no market for them apparently. many of the varieties are still grown but only for the consumption of the farmer's family and friends. RICETEC has been sniffing around the rice bowl states of orissa and chattisgarh to patent several varieties! the whole episode came out in the open when some activists exposed the whole thing!
i happened to sample three varieties thanks to a friend from chattisgarh and i can go on and on about the flavour and texture. it's pity that they are not brought out into the market!

gs said...

tamil nadu does not grow mangoes as good as in the north i.e. up and bihar.we have a few varieties like hima pasand which are very tasty.a cousin of ours has a mango orchard in srirangam near trichy.i am told their mangoes have already reached chennai this year. his father won some award many years ago from the prez for the quality of mangoes that he was growing.most of the tn varieties don't come off well when sliced and are best when their flesh is sucked out. we do the same thing. make a hole and hold the mango in our palm and gradually squeeze it and suck it till all the mango flesh is out.and drinking a glass of milk is a must. otherwise you might end up with some turbulence in your stomach.

Lulu said...

i know that feeling of turbulence all too well having been victim to mangoverdose.

hema said...

hey mama i knew there are umpteen varities in mangoes.But i was not sure of the numbers.Anyway next time when we meet get me some rare species of mangoes!!

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