Did you know…?
- India’s Alphonso mangoes were banned for 18 years in the United States from 1989 until 2007.
- They were banned to do “pest concerns” but mostly due to competition from the South American mango industry.
- The ban was finally lifted after a trade deal was made with India to allow the import of the mangoes in exchange for India allowing the import of Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
- Because mangoes have to be shipped by air transportation, the cost to import the fresh fruit is very expensive. Importing the puree is easier, as well as shelf-stable, and it protects the fruit from being irradiated at the border.
- “If you take the Alphonso from the homeland, it’s not happy almost anywhere […] It’s super sensitive. It has to have the right breeze from the Indian Ocean, the rocky red soil, the touch of the local farmer. Any time that I try to grow Alphonsos in different areas, even though it produces fruit, the fruit is not the same.” – Noris Ledesma is the Curator of Tropical Fruit at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Many times in my life, I’ve eaten something that is supposedly the prime exemplar of its category—the best banana, the best anchovy, the best burrito—and I’ve found the quality differential to be subtle; I’ve learned accordingly to temper my expectations with these kinds of things. But the one time I was able to eat an Alphonso mango, at the diminutive fruit stand at the luxury London department store Harrod’s, I was blown away. I remember being amazed that fruit that good could actually exist. The flesh was a deep and uniform marigold color, completely devoid of the stringy fibers that sometimes plague supermarket mangoes. The aroma and taste was not qualitatively different from the mangoes I had known, but intensified manifold, as if the souls of ten mangoes had been concentrated in just one fruit. It was the Platonic ideal of a mango, this Alphonso mango.
~ Myles Karp (Source)
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