Alphonso Mango Cultivation & Its Commercial Value
Mangoes are a natural crop in india. While mangoes can grow in almost all tropical weather, India is known for its mangoes. From Uttar pradesh to southern india, mangoes of some variety are grown in abundance. Each part of india has a significant variety of mango to its credit. Ratnagiri, is known for its Alphonso Mangoes. While alphonso is grow in other parts of the country, including kerala, tamil nadu, uttar pradesh, andhra and karnataka, the Ratnagiri from the konkan region of Maharashtra has a significant taste , texture and aroma to it.
If mangoes are the king of all fruits, the ratnagiri Alphonso is the Emperor.
Original Ratnagiri Alphonso Mango (Hapus)
The Ratnagiri Hapus could cost you anywhere between 50rs per kilo to Rs.1400 Per dozen. A fruit usually costs Rs.80 per piece in the market when the season begins and could go down to Rs40 per piece or as high as Rs.150 Per piece. While Hapus will be sold to you as ratnagiri Hapus most of the time, chances are that they come from other parts of the country. Its hard to determine the origin of the fruit by simply looking at it. An expert in taste and variety will be able to differentiate between the fruits but a normal person will most likely find it difficult to know any difference.
The taste of a Ratnagiri alphonso mango is sweet with no sourness, but the karnataka Hapus has a slight sour taste. The size and shape of the karnataka fruits are also a bit different. Alphonso from all over the country are different in some ways to the alphonso grown in Ratnagiri. But the question is whether the alphonso from other parts of the country is really bad? Yes and no. Ratnagiri Alphonso mangoes have a GI tag. The taste cannot be matched. It may be the same plant, but in any other part of the country, the taste of the fruit will be different.
Today most of the mangoes which come into the mumbai market as Ratnagiri mangoes are usually from karnataka. Most consumers are not aware of it and traders push these mangoes to retailers at a lower cost. Karnataka also has the advantage of weather, where mango harvesting starts a bit earlier than in the Ratnagiri region. The crops in Karnataka also flourish, with high yield. The flood of Karnataka hapus in Mumbai market eclipse Original ratnagiri mangoes for weeks before the original hapus arrives.
So, How do you know if the mangoes are really Aphonso from ratnagiri or devgad? It all comes down to smell and taste. Ratnagiri and devgad alphonso mangoes have a distinctive smell which is evident when ripe. Unlike the alphonso variety which is grown elsewhere, these alphonso mangoes are extremly fragrant. While you may have to bring a ripe alphonso mango from other parts of the country very close to your face to smell it and often touch your nose to get the fragrance of the mango, ratnagiri alphonso mangoes have a good fragrance from a feet away. You can smell the mango when its ripe .
Artificially ripened mangoes also have the problem with smell. They do not have the fragrance of a naturally ripened mango. Naturally ripened mangoes are softer on touch and gives in when pressed. With artificially ripened mangoes, even if they are genuinely ratnagiri and devgad mangoes, they lack the soft feeling when ripe and are void of the fragrance.