One of the most interesting events to come out of the Bush visit to India has to do with food. And I cant wait for the summer to arrive. Because…….just because, for the first time ever, Indian Mangoes shall be available in the US.
So now I can go to Jackson Heights, the all encompassing “Desi-Ghetto” and have my fill of “Haaphus” “Rajapuri” “Kesari” and what not as a real fruit and not the ubiquitous Swad pulp that one has got used to.
Now, it’s not that America has never seen mangoes. But well the ones you get here are from Mexico. And frankly, they suck….no pun intended. They just don’t measure up to what one is used to in India.
Mangoes are the one national eating pastime that is truly national. They are eaten all over the country and in all stages of ripeness. Stories of childhood revolve around stealing mangoes from the neighbours trees and then relishing them. Every summer the whole family has mangoes to the point of falling ill in the stomach eating them.
Personally, mangoes are a big part of my family. We have about 400 mango trees on our farm in Gujarat. The farm started as a hobby for my dad and has now become his passion, for all the time he does not spend in his business. With over 400 trees, we have more than our fair share of mangoes in the family. We sell them to wholesale farmers and the income helps in running the farm for the next year.
Hopefully very soon some Wadia Farm Mangoes will find themselves on the shelves of the US, and if you happen to bite into one, you will taste a piece of heaven. Come back here and thank my dad. In the meantime, stop salivating and wait for the summer to arrive.
From the way the season goes, I expect that Indian mangoes will be on shelves in the US by mid april and continue right till early July. Of course this is all in the hope that there is no government beauracratic screw up. Ok It seems I jumped the gun and allowed my salivary glands to go overboard. Not the first time this happened and not the last.
It seems that the governments will need about 18 months to get the red tape sorted out before the mangoes come into the US. My suggestion to the Indian Mango Farmer Council is…..invite the US honchos to India, and make them gorge on mangoes. Am sure they will remove every single bit of red tape.