Mangoes are a popular tropical fruit that originated in South Asia but are now grown in many parts of the world, including India, Mexico, and the Philippines. Alphonso mango, also known as Hapus, are one of the most popular varieties of mangoes in India. They are grown mainly in the state of Maharashtra and are considered a symbol of quality, prestige, and status.
2. Origin of Alphonso Mango
The origin of Alphonso mango can be traced back to the Konkan region of Maharashtra, India. It is believed that the Portuguese brought the first mango seeds to India in the 16th century, and the Alphonso mango was one of the varieties that were cultivated in the region. The Alphonso mango is named after Afonso de Albuquerque, a Portuguese general and statesman who conquered Goa in the 16th century.
3. Characteristics of Alphonso Mangoes
Alphonso mangoes are known for their distinctive sweet and musky aroma, buttery texture, and rich flavor. They have a bright golden-yellow skin with a tinge of red on top, and the flesh is juicy and fibrous. The seed is small and oval-shaped, making it easy to remove.
4. Nutritional Benefits of Alphonso Mangoes
Apart from their delicious taste, Alphonso mangoes are packed with nutrients that offer several health benefits. They are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, and antioxidants that can help boost immunity, improve digestion, and prevent various diseases. Additionally, Alphonso mangoes are low in calories and fat, making them a great snack option for weight watchers.
5. Popular Uses of Alphonso Mangoes
Alphonso mangoes are not just eaten as a whole fruit, but they are also used in a variety of culinary applications. They are used to make desserts, smoothies, ice creams, and beverages. In India, the pulp is often used to make a popular drink called Aamras, which is made by blending the mango pulp with milk or yogurt.
6. Cultivation and Harvesting of Alphonso Mangoes
Alphonso mangoes are cultivated in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, which is known for its fertile soil and favorable climate. The mango trees are planted during the monsoon season, and the fruits are harvested from March to May. The cultivation of Alphonso mangoes is a labor-intensive process that requires careful pruning, irrigation, and pest control.
7. Alphonso Mango Season and Availability
The Alphonso mango season starts from March and lasts till May, and this is the time when the fruit is at its