There is no denying the fact that one of the most comforting things about summers are the sweet and ripe mangoes. If you belong to the tribe that loves mangoes unconditionally, I bet you are already in agreement with me. So here is a blog from me, that is purely dedicated to a special variety of mango which I learned about during my stay in Andhra Pradesh. In Vijayawada, my cravings for mangoes are met by Banganapalle, a delicious variety of mango that hails from a village of the same name in Andhra Pradesh. The north Indian often misses Dusheri, Langda and Alphonso, but Banganapalle has never disappointed me. In fact, I was surprised to know that nearly 6,000 tonnes of Banganappalle mangoes are exported annually to countries like the U.S. and U.K. and many of us in India don’t even know about it. Banganapalle is produced in Kurnool district and covers nearly 70 percent of the mango cultivation of the state. These mangoes have been grown for more than 100 years in Andhra Pradesh and they have GI recognition too.
My love for Mangoes
My love for mangoes is beyond words. It makes me happy like a child and that is the most unachievable state of mind these days, right? During my days of chaos, mango gives me my calm. As a child, I would always pray for it to be available all round the year. The acceptance came with time. Mango is only a summer fruit and the wait is worth it. I grew up in Lucknow and had the privilege of relishing some of the best mango produce from Malihabad in Uttar Pradesh, the place which has time and again proved that it is the largest producer of the Dasheri mango. My Dad’s friend would never forget to send first ‘two boxes (petti)’ of the season, as soon as the produce was ripe and ready to be exported. For years, that was a ritual until we moved to Delhi. Here, again, delicious mango dishes rule the city’s culinary scene. I even had a chance to visit mango festival in the capital. Eventually, I explored and developed love and taste for Landa, Safeda, Kesar and Amrapali as well. A few years ago, my short stint in Mumbai introduced me to the heavenly taste of the much loved Alphonso. And now in the two years, Vijayawada has been treating me with yet another mango variety. Banganapalle is meaty and sweet.
What is so special about Banganapalle?
There is no doubt about this fact that it is a major crop of the state. It is cultivated in Krishna, West Godavari, Srikakulam, Kurnool and Chittoor districts covering a vast region of Andhra Pradesh. A lot is done to maintain the quality of the fruit, from its growth, ripening, preserving to packing. The fruit can be preserved for three months in cold storage. Unlike its cousins, it has soft fibres in the inside. It is big in size and thin skin.
As far as my personal experience goes, I like this variety. It does not have many spots on the skin. It is usually oval in shape. It is rich and juicy. It is sweet and very filling. I also like it for its soft fibers because unlike some of the other mango varieties, it does not get entangled in the teeth. And overall, it is always very refreshing to make mango shake of it. If you get a chance to come to Andhra Pradesh during summers, don’t miss to indulge in the deliciousness of king of fruits here.