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Friday, 18 October 2013 05:09

Mangoes - "Sealed Jars of Honey "

"King of Fruits", mango is one of the most popular and best-loved fruits worldwide. Hundreds of varieties of mangoes are known to exist in the world. Mangoes have enjoyed a special significance in the culture of South Asia where they have been cultivated for millennia. It has been the national fruit of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Philippines. Mangoes have played a part in South Asian life, culture, and folklore ever since. Famous Urdu poet Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib was very fond of mangoes. There are many stories concerning his love for mangoes. One day, Ghalib and the Mughal King, Bahadur Shah Zafar, were strolling in the royal gardens. Gazing at the beautiful ripe mangoes on the trees, Ghalib said “Bar sar-e-har daanah ba-navishtah iyaan/Ka-een falaan, ibn-e-falaan, ibn-e-falaan” (On every grain is clearly written the name of the person it is meant for) and said, “I am looking for the mangoes bearing my name and those of my father and grandfather”. Zafar smiled and sent a basketful of mangoes to his house. Ghalib had a lot of fondness for mangoes. His friends and fans often sent him mangoes as gifts. Ghalib even wrote a masnawi, in praise of this amazing fruit. In this poem “Dar sift-e-ambah” (In praise of mangoes), he called them sealed jars of honey.

The English word "mango" originated from the Portuguese word "manga", Mango is a fleshy fruit belonging to the genus Mangifera, consisting of numerous species. Native to Southern and Southeast Asia, Mangoes are now also grows in Central and South America, Africa, and Arabia.. From juice to cocktails, appetizers to desserts, ripe and unripe, mangoes are in everything in South Asian cuisine. Mangoes come from an evergreen tree native to Asia, frost-free climate is best for their growth as warm and dry weather is required for the cultivation of the fruit. Therefore the fruit is enjoyed mostly in only. Mango can be grown in large containers and a greenhouse as well. Mango trees are shady in nature. They grow very fast and can reach a height of as much as 65 ft. The life of mango trees is generally very long and some specimens are known to be over 300 years old and still fruiting..Mangoes are rich in Vitamin A, C and D and other antioxidant vitamins. Besides, mangoes have more carotenoids than most other fruits that helps in cold pevention and reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease. They are high in fibre, and contain a small amount of carbohydrates, calcium, iron, potassium and a little protein.

The Indo-Pakistan mangoes are monoembryonic and seedlings differ invariably from each other. The wide variations among the seedling progeny have been responsible for the evolution of several choice varieties in both the countries which have been multiplied by vegetative means and grown on large scale. These varieties have thus been called as “Horticulture Varieties”. There are 450 known Varieties of Mangoes in the world. Some of the more known verities are 'Alphonso' ('Chausa', 'Chinna Rasalu', 'Dashaheri' ('Daseri'), 'Fazli', 'Fernandian', 'Gulabkhas', 'Langda' ('Langra'), 'Neelam', 'Pairi', 'Pedda Rasalu', 'Rajapuri', 'Safeda', 'Suvarnarekha', 'Totapuri', 'Vanraj' and 'Zardalu'.Just as mango varieties are countless they can slosh be eaten in a numerous ways. Some most popular ways to savor a mango is to squeeze the mango gently until it's soft.  Poke or bite a small hole at the top end and suck out the mango pulp. Also, one can peel, dice and eat with a fork, spoon, or toothpick.

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