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May 16, 2007 02:00 PM

Mangoes from India

Does anybody know if they have made there way to LA markets? I've tried some of the upscale markets like Bristol and Gelsons. Nothing yet. I'm not very familiar with any Indian communities around LA but I'd love to try one. Heard nothing but great things about these lovely mangos.

Plural of mango is either mangos or mangoes. Weird.

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  1. Head to Little India. I got my hands on the very first shipment of Indian mangos last weekend. Here's an excerpt from my blog, w/ photos. It's part of an ongoing series about the Indian mango story. If you're not willing to pony up for an entire case, Pioneer Cash & Carry will sell them in onesies for $3.49 each.

    The waiting is the hardest part. I managed to score the first Indian mangos imported legally into the US. Mangos shipped that far have to be picked green to survive transit, and this reality factoid should have been obvious to me long before I looked inside the case. Despite having these precious Fabergé eggs in my clutches, I endure an interminable wait for them to ripen fully.

    But what if these supermangos fail to live up to the hype, and I’m setting myself up for disappointment? Will I regret forking out $35 a case for 12 mangos?

    Despite these concerns, plenty of other customers were snapping up cases of fruit last Saturday. It’s impossible to underestimate the excitement in some quarters of the Indian American community for these once illicit fruits. For many, the novelty of tasting a fruit unavailable in this country for the last two decades is worth the high cost. For more recently arrived expats, these mangoes don’t hold a candle to the tree-ripened ones back home. Will I have to travel to Mumbai to enter mango nirvana?

    Pioneer Cash and Carry is the largest grocer in Little India, and store owner Devraj “Dave” Kerai wanted to be first to carry this in the Los Angeles area. Despite the high cost, he expected to sell through this initial shipment of 110 cases in a day. Kerai expects his next weekly shipment to arrive this Thursday or Friday, and by Saturday, will probably be sold out again.

    Due to the high cost of air freight, future shipments are unlikely to drop substantially in price. The good news is that mangos are ripening in other countries, and the varieties trucked up from Mexico sell for very low prices ($8 a case in the L.A. region). Local markets sell Haden and Ataulfo mangoes from Mexico right now, with other varieties expected shortly.

    Pioneer Cash & Carry
    18601 Pioneer Blvd
    Artesia, CA 90701

    2 Replies
    1. re: Professor Salt

      Hmm.. I thought mangoes can be ripened off the tree. I remember that in India when you bought a bulk quantity, you'd layer what you expected to use in a few days with straw and newspaper to let them ripen. Of course if you bought a pound or two from the market, it would be already ripe.

      1. re: Professor Salt

        I stopped by Pioneer Cash & Carry yesterday after lunch nearby and found out that the next shipment of Indian mangos will be there tomorrow, Friday and will sell for $35/case of 12.

      2. Thanks for the information. I've just heard so much that I want to see if these mangoes live up to the hype. Not sure if I want to spend that much for a case. I enjoy the ripe mangos I've been getting from across South America.

        I'm going to make a trip to Artesia and see if I can get my hands on some.

        1. Alphonsos are the best mangoes in the entire world. By FAR. There is no disputing this fact. $35 a case is expensive, but if you've never had them before, it's well worth the cost.

          2 Replies
          1. re: nimo

            This Alphonso hype seems excessive to me. India has over 300 varieties of mangoes, and many would argue that some are as or more delicious than Alphonsos. As someone who's eaten plenty of Alphonsos, as well as grew up eating mangoes in northern India, I'd take a Dussehri, Langda, Chausa or the Bengali Himsagar over Alphonso any day.

            Unfortunately or fortunately (for the Indian consumer), these varieties are either too delicate to transport over long distances or all the export produce is sent to the Middle-East. In fact, many a mango grower in northern India's mango belt would tell you that the Alphonso's primary advantage is that it can be shipped over long distances without much damage to the mango.

            1. re: anthead

              Langdas are great too, but personally I find them too sweet in comparison to the richness of the Alphonso. I think a lot of the debate on which Indian mango is best is regional in nature. Bombayites swear by the Alphonso; northerners seem to prefer Dussehris or Langdas. We're just lucky that finally these amazing things are being brought over to the US.

          2. if you are anywhere around the inland empire, I got a box of some really good kesar mangoesfrom the bombay stores, the indian supermrkets here...but they advise that you call first cuz of limited supply....number is 909-981-9323