Alphonso mango. Photo courtesy of Sandip Roy
By Madhulika Sikka
Ah the joys of summer. Fresh plump strawberries, luscious ripe blueberries and of course what could be better than the perfect peach in July?
These are all fruits that I love and for me herald the summer. But there is one more to add to the list and frankly it trumps them all. The Indian mango is coming to America.
In one of the odd byproducts of the Bush administration nuclear deal with India, a ban on the importation of Indian mangoes has been lifted and for the last couple of years you can, theoretically, get your hands on an Indian mango and if you can find one you should.
Commentator Sandip Roy tells us what this means for many Indian Americans on today's Morning Edition.
For me, an Indian who grew up in London my memories of mangoes are sweet. My grandmother and aunt would ship us a box at the beginning of the mango season (probably violating all sorts of rules about food shipments) and its arrival was greeted with joy and anticipation.
An Indian mango (of which there are hundreds of varieties) is the perfect package of sweet juicy pulp. One mango fit in my hand perfectly. Lop off the top, wrap your hand around it and just suck the pulp right out.
The experience of an Indian mango is something else. The pulp is super smooth, none of that tough fibrous stuff you get with a Central American mango, no need to reach for the floss after eating an Indian mango.
I prefer to eat them fresh and unadulterated, no need to gussy it up by adding to a salsa (though the overripe ones do work well in a mango yogurt shake called lassi).
If you want to buy an Indian mango in America you have to look hard, act quickly (the season lasts about a month) and be prepared to pay top dollar, perhaps as much as $5 per mango, though in the age of $4 gourmet cupcakes I think it is money well spent.
(Madhulika is Morning Edition's executive producer.)