Every April, a close friend of ours goes a little nuts. She’s usually a great gal. Beautiful, funny, sweet, generous, and, of course, as you might expect as a criterion of our friendship, wonderfully gluttonous. But April marks the beginning of the all too brief Alfonso mango season. And this gal, L, is mad about mangos, especially the Alfonso (also spelled “Alphonso”).
The Alfonso is easily the most expensive mango varietal out there, as well as universally considered to be the best. It hails from India, from states like Goa and Tamil Nadu. Goa, it should be noted, once produced some 77 varieties of mango. Other top Goan varieties include the Musarad and the Mancurado. The Alfonso, though, thanks especially to international demand, is the world’s most coveted mango.
The season lasts for only 6 weeks and in order to ensure a supply of good quality Alfonsos, L has taken to bypassing the fruit markets and sellers—who she contends only sells second rate cast-offs to the public anyway—and goes direct to the source. Using some f&b contacts, she’s managed to establish a relationship with a rather dependable Indian fruit importer (not that I’m implying most Indian fruit importers are undependable). So now, thanks to her “hook-up”, our lovely lass orders her Alfonsos, direct and by the box. Frighteningly, she also consumes them by the box, mainlining them like there’s no tomorrow.
As mentioned, she’s a generous gal-pal and she not only allows friends to order through her, she also shares her booty (um… meaning the mangos, of course). Here’s a picture of my wife enjoying one.
On a final note, a mango, while high in fibre, is also highly nutritious. It’s high in beta-carotene, and contains all four recognised anti-oxidants (Vitamin A, C, E and Selenium) that prevent heart disease, cancer and diabetes. One mango contains three times the recommended daily intake of beta carotene and vitamin A.