5.23.2007

Seeking Indian Mangoes

Since the first shipments of Indian mangoes in almost 20 years arrived on U.S. shores earlier this month, people (including readers of this blog) have been scrambling to find them.

If you've missed what all the fuss is about, this quote from Madhur Jaffrey's March New York Times op-ed should put things into perspective: "What America will be getting is the King of Fruit, Indian masterpieces that are burnished like jewels, oozing sweet, complex flavors acquired after two millenniums of painstaking grafting."

So just where can you get your hands (or spoon) on one of these masterpieces? Rasika, my favorite spot for Indian food, was offering the mangoes last week for dessert, paired with cardamom ice cream for $8. The restaurant is currently waiting for another shipment, expected to arrive this weekend.

And a story in today's Washington Post Food section mentions a few area Indian markets that have been selling the Alphonso mangoes — and the trouble they've had keeping them in stock.

The pest-provoked ban on the seasonal fruit was lifted thanks to a process that irradiates the fruit prior to shipment.

Seen an Indian mango around? Let us all know where you found it.

3 comments:

Chubby Hubby said...

A friend of mine purchases several cartons of the Alphonso mangoes every year. She's completely nuts over them. While great, I have to admit they haven't been as good as a Pakistani mango I was given many years back (sadly, I can't remember the varietal).

Dave said...

Thanks for posting this! I had the mango dessert at Rasika last week, and it was great. I still haven't seen indian mangoes in a store, though I'm still looking.

Oh, and here's another indian mango-related quote from former UN under-secretary and author Shashi Tharoor: "After years of penury, where what passed for mangoes in American supermarkets was a travesty of the term, we at last have the real thing! I used to believe that true mango lovers could sue American groceries for false advertising -- the tasteless, fibrous, tart and flavor-challenged fruit they sold did not deserve the name of mango. Now we should urge every American we know to try a real Indian mango.
They'll never think of mangoes the same way again."

Anonymous said...

In New York, they're selling these mangoes for $4 apiece in some Indian food stores. But an Indian cashier at one of them rolled his eyes and told me he'd never pay that much for a mango.