Heaven is…

eating an Alphonso mango!

There is no doubt about this. None.

AlphonsoTo those who wonder what the fuss is about, the Alphonso mango is a type of mango grown in India. To say it is the best mango species in the world is a huge understatement. You have not lived until you have savored one.

Due to the US ban on importing Indian mangoes, it is virtually impossible to eat one in the United States. And given that I rarely go to India in April, May or June (mango season), I haven’t eaten an Alphonso in about 12 years. I weep at the thought of my deprivation.

But all that changed this week. A good friend very kindly gave me three Alphonso mangoes a couple of days ago. Entirely unexpected. I refused to ask how she got them – I am just happy she shared her bounty with me!

I’ve been savoring one each night. Eating an Alphonso mango late at night in the heart of Manhattan is a delight to be treasured.

When India and the US negotiated the nuclear deal, India also negotiated the export of mangoes and apparently this summer will be the first time in two decades that the Alphonso will be available in the US. I still have no clue where they will be available (if you know, let me know in the comments, please!), but I assure you that as soon as I find out, I will be first in line!

Photo courtesy: Kejriwal Enterprises, which retains all rights

  • Won’t you find them at the Patel stores in NJ ?

  • I soooo miss mangoes… after having left India, I’ve never had a decent mango.. seriously, who would’ve thought I’d miss Indian summers?

  • indira

    my personal favorite is the himampasand (sp?). and not all neat and cut up into little bits, but just sliced into 2 sides and the middle, where you actually get messy and eat the stuff right off the skin. Mmmmm good stuff!!

  • kind of ironic that at first sight the title of this post at the top of the screeen reads “heaven is… almost as good as chocolate” šŸ˜€

  • I think by now Indian stores in Jackson Heights would have stocked up. My local Patel brothers told me that it is a costly transaction (seems they have to pay a large deposit for the order). End result, Indian mango’s @ a costly price šŸ˜‰ for the consumers.

  • I want one! I hope the Indian stores near my house stock up soon. Bah!

  • Shripriya

    @ Amit – Good idea – should check. But we are the typical Manhattan couple – no car! But still, if the NJ stores have it, it might be worth renting one!

    @ Rum and Coked – The mango is the reward for enduring the heat!

    @ Indira – Ah, yes, the Himampasand comes in second for me. And the two slices and the middle was exactly how I consumed the Alphonsos!!

    @ Tabula Rasa – Actually it says “Heaven is… at Almost As Good As Chocolate”. I wish! Hilarious – thanks for pointing it out šŸ˜€

    @ Anand – Jackson Heights – great idea! After 12 years, I’m willing to pay for some Alphonso goodness!

    @ Megha – I wish for you an Alphonso summer šŸ™‚

  • Cranky Dude

    I want an Alphonso! But someone ate all the mangos in the fridge!

  • Shripriya

    @ Cranky Dude – That’s what happens when you say “no” to mangoes three days in a row!! Letting an Alphonso go bad is a sin – whoever ate them saved you from that horrible burden. You should go thank her immediately! šŸ™‚

  • LOL @ Heaven is almost as good as chocolate šŸ™‚ i just finished some tinned mango pulp. yuck it was.

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  • Vamsee K

    In April 2007, the United States lifted its ban on the import of Indian mangoes