Much Ado About Mangoes

After years of a trade ban against the Indian Alphonso mango, cases are now being shipped to the United States. This has set off a mango frenzy, as Indian expats and curious foodies try to get their hands on what is often called the “King of Fruit.”

The Cookthink blog has the full story. Apparently, the race is on to get at the fruit that Madhur Jaffrey calls “Indian masterpieces that are burnished like jewels, oozing sweet, complex flavors acquired after two millenniums of painstaking grafting.” Everyone wants at the Alphonso, yet the supply is nowhere close to meeting demand.

According to Cookthink, writer Cinnamon at Chicago-based blog Drive-Thru may be one of the few to actually lay hands on the elusive fruit. The report back is that people were purchasing “five, 10 or even 15 cases at a time.” The store had received 160 cases the day before; only five remained.

Alphonso mangoes are said to be fragrant and smooth, with none of the annoying fibrous aspects of other mangoes. I’ve never had one myself, but the other day at my corner market I saw a bin of mangoes and couldn’t resist checking the sticker—just in case some of these royal fruits had made their way into my neighborhood.

No luck. Like everyone else, I’ll have to wait my turn for this transcendent fruit.

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