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Blog // Thoughts
March 4, 2006

Actually, Bush’s Visit Is About Mangoes

One interesting side issue arising from George W. Bush’s visit to India is an agreement on the sale of Indian Mangoes to the USA. As the Hindustan Times put it today, “Americans can taste the real thing, rather than insipid Latin American varieties.” Now, to be fair, I have had my fair share of nice […]

One interesting side issue arising from George W. Bush’s visit to India is an agreement on the sale of Indian Mangoes to the USA. As the Hindustan Times put it today,

“Americans can taste the real thing, rather than insipid Latin American varieties.”

Now, to be fair, I have had my fair share of nice Brasilian mangoes, however there is no doubt that the better Indian varieties are the best in the field. During the warmer months we see 44 different varieties of Mangoes come through the Markets here in Delhi, some are destined for pickles and chutnies, but others like the Alphonse are dazzling rich, tasty and lacking the sinewy fibres that you find in supermarket Mangoes in the west. Moreover, we can buy a box of twelve of these delectable (and fully ripe) fruits for only Rs300 (about £4!).

However, the news of this new market for Indian mangoes has me a little worried. I remember being in Chile in the early 80s are hearing how local and smaller varieties of stone fruit (many in very old orchards) were being dug up and replanted with “American” varieties, which gave bigger fruit (and bigger yields), but lacked the taste and uniqueness of the established fruit. My fear is that something similar may happen here in India, which production being focussed on a smaller and maybe more economical range of fruit. I hope I’m wrong, but I fear such a thing might be bad for the enviroment, but will definately be bad for the food culture in this country and for the legion of smaller producers who still have a role in the Indian mango market.

[tags] India, Mando, Alphonse, Trade, George W. Bush, Bush[/tags]

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