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How, when and where are Alphonso mangoes harvested?

How, when and where are Alphonso mangoes harvested?

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First off, What is an alphonso mango?


Smooth and creamy with a soft skin of deep marigold. It could be none other than the King of the Fruits, the almighty Alphonso mango! Named after Afonso de Albuquerque, Portuguese conqueror of Goa, the Alphonso mango is superior to all other mango varieties. Unlike the red-green supermarket mango you’ve likely come across (called a Tommy Atkins mango), alphonsos are devoid of any fibrous texture and glide beautifully away from their skins, leaving you with a succulently sweet explosion of flavour in your mouth.


Mangoes originate from the Indo-Burma region of India and have been cultivated for centuries in the Indian subcontinent. Mangoes first reached England in 1953, the year of the Queen’s coronation, travelling all the way from Mumbai’s legendary Crawford Market. India has many beloved varieties of mango, but the one crowned as the undeniable favourite is the famous Alphonso mango.



Where are Alphonso mangoes grown?


India is the epicentre of mango cultivation. Scientists predict that over 1000 mango varieties exist in India. Every village and region in India has its own variety; mangoes are very sensitive to the soil and climatic conditions, playing a huge impact on how they grow and their quality.


This year we’re sending you alphonso mangoes from Alphonso from Western India, Ratnagiri.



When is mango season?


Mango season moves with the weather in India - which is as difficult to predict as the weather in the UK! Mangos need hot and dry weather to ripen. So monsoon season is a no-go for growing mangoes and so as soon as monsoon season hits, mango season comes to a close.. Mango season in India starts in March-April from the South West and moves towards the North East in June-July, similarly as the rain season moves up the continent from Kerala towards New Delhi and Calcutta


How big do alphonso mango trees grow?



Alphonsos are a dwarf variety of mango. An Alphonso mango only grows to about 10-15 feet tall. Other mango trees could grow up to 30 feet tall. The large leaves on the tree are leathery, 5 to 16 inches in length, and remain on the tree for a year or more.



What is the optimum growing condition for Alphonso mangoes?



Mango trees are grown in warm temperate climates - temperatures shouldn’t drop below 4 degrees celsius . Tropical to subtropical climates. Young mango tree seedlings require bright but indirect sunlight. Once the tree starts to grow and mature, it requires as much sunlight as possible. The mango tree needs at least six hours of sun per day and preferably eight to ten hours.The soil needs to be rich and well drained.



How long do Alphonsos take to grow?



Once the tree has been flowered, the mango fruit usually takes three to five months to grow. To test the readiness of the fruit, farmers will smell the fruit to see if it has a sweet scent. If the mango is picked too early, it will still ripen but the ready-to-eat fruit might not taste as good as if it was left to ripen on the tree. During the final stages of development on the tree, the mango fruit absorbs the nutrients and sugars, making it taste as sweet and juicy as possible! If your unripe mango doesn’t soften and ripe, you could use it to make a delicious mango pickle!





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