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April 04, 2006


sanjiv parikh

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Sanjiv Parikh


Kris--have you actually asked the storekeeper ( or someone) who the grower of those mangoes is and if you could buy directly from her/him?
It is nuts, isn't it!


As a resident of Hawaii, I'm dismayed to drive to the store past mango trees dripping with fruit (yet out of my reach) to find the store stocked with mangoes from Mexico. This seems to me to be a waste of not only an opportunity to do business locally, but a waste of fuel/resources to get the Mexican mangoes here. Of course, this is not true in all cases, but it continues to shock me.


It reminds me of the sweet potato--when we visited Japan in order to explore the sweet potato, we were delighted to encounter multiple varieties of this American veg, including versatile, non icky-sweet ones. The mango, too, comes in hundreds of varieties--as do many other fruits and vegs--alas, we the consumer rarely have the chance to try them.


When I visited southern India a couple of years ago, I was amused that, of all the wonders available, the first thing our guide pointed out to us was a group of mango trees. I had always liked mangos, but having them be of such primacy to the local guide made me curiuos to learn more. Of course, as the fruit's Latin name suggests -- Mangifera indica -- mangos are indigenous to India. About 400 varieties of mango exist in India today -- vastly more variety than anywhere else the mango has spread. (Americans are usually surprised to learn that mangos are, in fact, the most important fruit in the world.)

So another benefit to getting Indian mangos is not just getting more mangos, but also getting more varieties. There are mangos that are better for desserts and some that are better for chutneys. Many who have been to India -- and many who only been to a good Indian restaurant -- have become addicted to mango lassi, a mango and yogurt drink, and there are mangos that are ideal for that. (And if you've ever had a mango and not liked it, you may just have had the wrong mango. There is quite a bit of variation in flavor and sweetness. I don't like all mangos, but the mangos I like, I really like.)

I don't know about other parts of the US, but here in Chicago, I think the huge influx of Indians is probably creating as much demand as the influx of Hispanics.

So I look forward to having access to more mangos. Time to go home and start finding more recipes that use this luscious fruit.


Well, local mangos for the US would be those from Florida--but production is not huge, not large enough to meet the increasing demand from the Hispanic population, not to mention all mango lovers, and also, mango trees are highly susceptible to high wind, as tend to occur with hurricanes. ( Hawaiian mango production is too small to be recorded officially by the USDA, apparently, same with that of California.)
The NMB is working to promote more mango eating


PS There are some foodie links up at my site you might be interested in.


So which is it, eat Indian mangos or eat local?

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