As the summer peaks, the king of fruit, mango is all around — on traffic signals, the internet, vegetable markets and on restaurant menus across the city. But if mango sellers are to be believed, the Alphonso season this year may be short-lived.
Here now, gone soon
Subhash Patil of Vile Parle’s Subhash Mango Centre laments, “Despite the prohibitive rates, the demand for mango is at an all-time high. However, with most big mango producers exporting the fruit, the season may come to an end soon.” He adds, “The demand is even more in the neighbouring state of Gujarat where the fruit is selling for as much as Rs 500 as compared to Rs 250-300 in Mumbai.
Morde of Venubai Vithal Morde, Crawford Market seconds it, “Usually the Alphonso season lasts till the first week of June but the season this year may be cut short due to the scarcity and climatic changes.”
The mango season, got off to a start in March end with the arrival of the Alphonso mangoes from Ratnagiri and Devgarh. Also available in the market these days is the Payari, which will be followed by the Rajapuri and Shravani varieties and the reddish Kesar mangoes, all from Maharashtra. Mangoes from the North — Dussehri and Langda — will make an appearance in June.
At Crawford Market, the golden fruit is currently selling from anywhere between Rs 250 to Rs 350 per dozen. This season has also seen an increase in the demand for organic mangoes. Available at big superstores at slightly higher prices these mangoes are cashing in on the organic boom. They are being marketed by farms like Manas Krushi Farm and Mother India Farms and are priced at around 400-450 per dozen.
If choosing mangoes is difficult, Qazi, a farmer who markets his mangoes under the brand name Mak, suggests, “Mangoes have a very distinct aroma that can be smelt from the upper end. Look out for firm and rounded mangoes with a slight depression around its stem.” Though colour is not always a criteria, mangoes should ideally be golden yellow. Those with green patches could be sour and not ripe enough. Black spots and wrinkly skin are a complete no.
Now you can even get a taste of international varieties of mangoes like Tom Atkins and Austin mangoes that are imported from the US at HyperCity, Malad and Mulund. The superstore is hosting a Mango Festival featuring 25 varieties of mangoes like Alphonso, Kesar, Payari, Langda, Dussheri, Badami, as well as organic mangoes.
The golden yellow fruit is also the highlight of menus at Tosa in Vile Parle, The Resort, Malad, InterContinental The Lalit, Peshwa Pavilion, ITC Maratha, Sahar Golden Star Thali, Charni Road and Gourmet Shoppe, The Oberoi, Nariman Point.