Mango tango - The king of fruits is a perfect antidote to the summer sun spewing hell fire. Here's a Metro guide to the best mangoes for the aam admi - mango people, silly

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By SIBENDU DAS WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE MANGO AND WHERE DO YOU GET IT FROM? TELL TTMETRO@ABPMAIL.COM
  • Published 10.06.12
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BEST OF THE BEST

top 10 varieties

Alphonso or Hapoos: Ratnagiri, Deogarh and Sindhudurg in Maharashtra

Kesar: Maharashtra, Gujarat

Daseri: Lucknow and Maliabad in UP

Chausa: Lucknow and Maliabad in UP

Sweet mango: Imported from Bangkok and Australia

Himsagar: Santipur in Nadia, Malda, Chandernagore in Hooghly and Odisha

Lyangra: Basirhat in North 24-Parganas and Santipur

Gulabkhas: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh

Begunphuli: Nadia and Malda, Andhra Pradesh

Benishaan: Andhra Pradesh

Most in demand

lGoing by demand, Alphonso is undoubtedly the king. Himsagar is a close second, followed by Lyangra. Gulabkhas and Begunphuli are next.

WHERE TO GET THEM?

MECHHUABAZAR FRUIT MARKET

For mango varieties from beyond Bengal

How to reach

From Mahatma Gandhi Road Metro station, take the lane opposite Mahajati Sadan. Go past Jorasanko police station and ask for Rituraj Hotel. You can’t miss the market from there.

Your best bet

Raj & Sons

10A Madan Mohan Burman Street

(033-22706250, 22726192, 9831056201

Home delivery available (minimum order of Rs 500).

COLLEGE STREET (POST 11PM) & SEALDAH MARKET

For mango varieties from Bengal

How to reach

Take the road adjacent Mahajati Sadan till the crossing with tramlines. Turn right. Traffic is not allowed beyond this point after 11pm. The mango market stretches up to the Sealdah flyover.

Your best bet

There are close to 45 aratdaars in the area whom you need to approach. Samir Paul, the secretary of their association, can guide you through the apparently chaotic auctioning. (9903164751

Standalone merchants

(Based on wholesalers’ recommendations)

Gokul Bhog and Gokul Vatika

P6 CIT Road, Scheme VIM, Phoolbagan, (beside Bata showroom)

(033-40069900

Madan Fruit Shop

31 Asutosh Mukherjee Road, Jadubabu Market

(033-24759564

Tidbits

1 AJC Bose Road (near the Exide crossing)

(033-30585818

Gokul Shree

174B Block G, New Alipore

(033-40608002, 24889020

Newage Industries

5A Motilal Baisakh Lane, Kankurgachhi

(9330187705

Pocket pinch

lThe first supply of Alphonso (Hapoos) arrives in end-January. It costs around Rs 1,100-1,200 per dozen. The peak season is April to mid-June, when the price comes down to Rs 400-Rs 450 per dozen (wholesale rate).

Kesar sells at Rs 250 per dozen.

Chausa enters the market around mid-June. It costs around Rs 50 per kg.

Gulabkhas sells at Rs 60 per kilo, Badami (Begunphuli) and Totahpari for Rs 35-45 per kilo.

Himsagar and Lyangra; around Rs 40-Rs 60 per kg.

Hapoos and Kesar come packed in boxes of six and 12 mangoes, termed a peti. “We sell around 400 petis of Hapoos from my shop daily,” said Rajkumar of Raj & Sons.

Hapoos costs around Rs 600 per peti at Gokul Shree while Himsagar and Lyangra sell at around Rs 60 per kg there. “We sell about 100 petis of Alphonso per day,” said Laxmi Kant Balasaria, owner of Gokul Shree.

The finest Himsagar and Lyangra cost around Rs 80 to Rs 90 per kilo at Gokul Bhog in Phoolbagan. The outlet sells a special variety imported from Bangkok and Australia, called “sweet mangoes”, at Rs 400 per kilo. Alphonso sells at Rs 600 to Rs 900 per peti at Gokul Bhog.

CHEF'S CHOICE

SHARAD DEWAN, Director, Food Production, The Park, Calcutta

The Mechhua market is the best place. Himsagar is the best local produce. Banarasi Lyangra from Bhagalpur comes next. Famous and fashionable is the Alphonso.

GAURAV LAVANIA, Executive Sous Chef, ITC Sonar Calcutta

The Mechhua market is where you get the best mangoes. Our suppliers collect the best mangoes from different wholesalers. My pick is Lyangra from Malda.

VIKRAM GANPULE, Executive Chef, Hyatt Regency

I am biased towards the Alphonso as I grew up in Maharashtra. The Himsagar from Malda and Chandernagore are equally good.

Mango bites

Know your mango. Gachhpaka mangoes are those that have ripened naturally. Jaatpaka are ripened with chemicals.

For the connoisseur, nothing beats gachhpaka, which are costlier and more in demand.

“One can know his gachhpaka by looking at the colour of the mango. If the entire body is reddish or orangish, it’s not gachhpaka. Look for a greenish body with a reddish area around the stalk,” says Samir Paul on College Street.

Mangoes are auctioned at both Mechhua and College Street markets. The seller and the prospective buyer shake hands under a large white piece of cloth and close the deal through a complex series of signals based on the exact way the hand is shaken. The code is zealously guarded.