Why Devgad Alphonso (Hapus) Mangoes are best?
The king of fruits – mangoes come in different varieties and are named accordingly. The best variety – the Alphonso, originates from a little village called Devgad situated in the Konkan belt of the west part of India. The finest quality of the Alphonso is produced here and is made available as a seasonal fruit only during summer for the connoisseurs to buy and satiate their palate. The rocky laterite soil of this village is different from any other parts of the country, giving the Devgad Alphonso (Devgad Hapus) a distinct flavor. It’s mainly the soil coupled with this region’s climate that’s responsible for the unique taste and aroma of the mangoes produced here.
Alfonso De Albuquerque, a Portuguese military strategist and explorer, brought the Alphonso with him to India, particularly in Goa. Then the variety travelled to different places including different Konkan regions and other southern parts of India. The distinctiveness and special characteristics like extremely sweet and aromatic taste, fruity smell and no fiber have made the Devgad Alphonso the number one choice among fruit lovers. In the early 90’s, mango growers in Devgad brought grafts from Ratnagiri for experimentation as the hard laterite rock of the region had made plantation of the grafts difficult. However, the growers uprooted existing trees that had grown in the rock and planted the Alphonso grafts in their place. The grafts survived and the Devgad Alphonso took birth. As part of their marketing efforts, Devgad mango growers started sending the Alphonso to Mumbai. The fruit soon became popular in Mumbai as the people of the city loved its extremely pleasant fruity flavor, thick pulp and the sweet taste. Popularly known as Devgad Hapus, the fruit was able to fetch premium price, thank to its growing popularity and demand. Soon, the Devgad Alphonso became a brand and started receiving commercial importance.
Alphonso mangoes have been produced since time immemorial in the Indian subcontinent. It’s believed to have originated in East India, the borders of the Bay of Bengal throughout Andaman Islands and Burma (presently Myanmar). Lots of varieties of the fruit are grown all over the globe today, throughout the tropical as well as the sub-tropical world. India remains the leading producer of Alphonso mangoes followed by China and Mexico. It’s also produced in Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia, Brazil, Nigeria and Philippines, among others.
Today, the Devgad Alphonso mangoes are dispatched across the globe through internet booking. Usually, the large and medium sizes are kept for online recipients while the small ones are kept separate for canning purpose and domestic resellers.
The Devgad Alphonso mangoes are considered to be the most expensive amongst other sub-breeds of Alphonso. Though many sub-varieties in the country are fetching the price of good Alphonso, they neither have the flavor nor the sweetness of Hapus.
Alphonso mangoes offer several health benefits, some of which are as mentioned below:
- They contain phenolic compounds that are rich in anti-oxidants, which aid in fighting cancer.
- These mangoes are a rich source of iron, making them a must-have for anemic patients and pregnant women. It may also help in proper development of the fetus for pregnant women.
- As a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin E and Selenium, the fruit helps to safeguard you from heart disease and other related ailments.
- When consumed on a regular basis, they help to ensure proper bowel movement and combat acidity, thus strengthening your digestive system.
- Eating Alphonso also offers relief from constipation, fever and respiratory problems, among others.
- This fruit offers an efficient remedy to get rid of the skin’s clogged pores.
- Consumption of this variety of mangoes can help offer relief from problems related to the kidney including nephritis.
Alphonso mangoes are heavily used for preparing culinary delicacies such as mango ice cream, sorbet, lassi and mousse, among other culinary preparations.
Anyone who has tasted the Devgad Alphonso mangoes would know why the steep price tag of this fruit is completely justified. But for someone who hasn’t been lucky to savor this fruit, h/she has deficiently missed something special in life, say several websites featuring this special variety. In fact, some even call this fruit among the 1000 things that one should eat before dying. Perhaps all this euphoria surrounding this fruit explains why you should take your taste buds on the exhilarating journey of sampling a few pieces (or more, if you can) of the Devgad Alphonso mangoes sometime soon, especially if you haven’t already!