Hiuen Tsang, Chinese scholar after being in India is going back. Time AD 627-643, on the fabled Silk Route. Apart from his knowledge of Buddhism, his rucksack contains an extraordinary fruit called Mango.
The name in hindi AaM is derived from Sanskrit word AMRA which seems to be the loan word from Dravidian and is related to Tamil words for Mango like “mamaram”. Portuguese were responsible for transferring the name to the West. It is growing in India since 4000 years at least.
Moguls were great connoisseurs of the fruit. Akbar got 100000 mango trees planted in Lakhi Bagh (Lakhi: 100,000, Bagh means Garden) near Darbhanga Bihar India. Others who relished the fruit were Shahjahan and Noor Jehan, Aurangzeb, Sher Shah Suri. Raghunath Peshwa got large numbers planted all over Maharashtra.
Citric acid and related compounds are responsible for sour taste. Several terpenes have been found in unripe fruit..
Ripe mango contains volatile compounds like alpha terpineol, ocimene, limonene, 3-carene etc. Yellow colour is due to beta Carotene.
Mangoes are rich in potassium, about 8% carbohydrate with 1.6 % dietary fibre. Very rich in vitamin A , C, B-6, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Some famous Indian Varieties:
1: Alphonso or Hapoos
King among the mangoes. Named after Portugal admiral D Afonso de Albuquerque. Deogad in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra has got the GI tag of genuineness.
It is birth place is Malihabad in Lucknow. Soft, succulent and mild.
3: Banarasi Langda
It was born in an orchard belonging to a Langda (lame) fellow and thus got this name.
Fibre less, creamy and full of pulp. Pride of Murshidabad in West Bengal.
Quite big in size, famous in Malda of West Bengal. Late maturing.
From Bihar. Full of Flavour. It is pressed into mouth and juice is sucked.
7: Gulab Khaas
Native of Jharkhand. It is graceful mango
Aromatic fruit of Junagadh Gujarat. Giving a tough fight to Hapoos. Plantations are on foothills of mount Girnar.
Taste depends upon the plucking time.
10. Totapuri: it is abundant in southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka.
11: Sindoori: it gets its name from the vermillion colour of the skin.
12: Banganapalli/ Bagan Phali/ Safeda
From Andhra’s small town Banganapalli. Sweet, yellow and fibre less.
13: Himam Pasand/ Humayun Pasand
A cross made from Banganapalli and Malgoa. It is very popular in Deccan.
14: Chandrakaran: it is delicacy from Kerala. Sweet and sour. Quite costly.