May 4, 2008

Indian Mangoes

I've been hearing about the possibility of Indian mangoes available in the U.S. since last year but haven't seen any in Austin markets until just recently. Apparently, Indian mangoes have been banned in the U.S. since the mid-'80s because of concern over fruit flies. Last spring, I heard news reports that a new trade agreement with India would lift that ban and allow Americans to find out what they'd been missing.

Last week, I ran across some Indian mangoes in Central Market. At about $3.50 each, my curiousity was slowed by my purse strings. So I decided to sample two just to see if they lived up to they hype.

And did they. Wow. Though small, these mangoes have a much richer, more concentrated flavor. We simply cut them into cubes and ate them right off the skins. They were luscious. It's very tempting to want to make my favorite Cuban salad with mangoes and avocados or some mango sorbet, but at those prices, my enthusiasm is slowed. Don't get me wrong, they are totally worth it. It's like you've never had a mango before. A difference even more pronounced than comparing wintertime grocery store tomatoes to the big fat Cherokee Purples straight out of the garden.

So to justify the cost, we'd have to make something worthy of them. Perhaps an Indian feast with mango lassis? Something that would pay them the appropriate attention.

Try one yourself and see what you think. It's a taste sensation.

If you don't have them in your area, you can order them from Melissa's produce online.

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