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May 15, 2011 10:04 AM

Indian kesar mangoes at Patel's in Jax Heights!

Indian kesar mangoes (from Gujarat, I believe) are being sold individually at Patel Bros. in Jax Heights! I picked up two yesterday evening, and there were still quite a few left. They're a bit on the pricey side, as always (I think I paid about $3 for two small, tennis ball-size mangoes). The two I bought aren't quite ripe yet, so haven't had a chance to try them yet, but I have never met an Indian mango I didn't like!

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    1. re: kathryn

      Yes, I was surprised, as I had read about the shortage this year. I spoke to a guy at the store, who (to be honest) didn't seem very knowledgeable, but he said more Indian mangoes may be coming next week. I'm not sure how much I trust that tip, however.

      1. re: kathryn

        Follow-up: Actually not so awesome, unfortunately. Those mangos I bought were finally ripe enough to eat over the weekend, and if those really were Indian mangos, they were the worst I've ever had: stringy and with that piney taste -- not at all smooth and sweet as they should be.

          1. re: kathryn

            Yeah, perhaps we are getting the dregs of the harvest that can't be sold in India?

      2. Im not a mango lover, but the very good Hatian mangoes seem superior to most of the Indian sourced mangoes weve bought in the last couple of years.

        8 Replies
        1. re: jen kalb

          Mango update! A friend who lives in Jax Heights and keeps close watch on Patel's for mango arrivals at this time of year informs me that boxes of Alphonso mangos (she thinks that's the variety) are in! They're $38/box and hopefully they'll be far better than the single kesar mangos they were selling a few weeks back. :)

          jen kalb, you're right, there are some really good Haitian mangos -- and they're pretty readily available in NYC. But Indian mangos....oh my. When you walk into a grocery store during mango season in India, you can smell the sweet scent of mangos in the produce section from the door! And you have about a dozen varieties to choose from, and all of them are smooth textured and flavored....and so sweet -- no strings, no offputing piney taste. People are kidding when they wax on about Indian mangos. They really are better than any other mangos I've come across.

          1. re: CitySpoonful

            In India, I think it probably depends on where you are. They do not have good produce handling systems. I thought the fruit we had was mostly terrible. My daughter is heading to Lucknow in a couple of weeks and I am interested in hearing what she says about the mangoes there.

            I have been in Haiti and St. Thomas in Mango season and the fresh picked ripe mangoes there were superb. We can get pretty good ones here in Brooklyn from Indian stores and West Indian vendors (the truck across from Costco usually has good ones) But ,boxed and gassed, the indian kesars and alphonsos we got last year and the year before were insipid by comparison.

            1. re: jen kalb

              Hmmm, might be worth trekking to Brooklyn to check out the mango pickins! Are the truck guys always across from the CostCo, or just on certain days/hours?

              The mangos I'm raving about were in Bangalore at a very nice grocery store in a very upscale mall...though we also had pretty tasty mangos in a tiny village in Punjab.

              Is there a mango-growing region in India, I wonder? Or are they grown everywhere, with different varieties more popular in some regions than in others? Anyone know?

              1. re: CitySpoonful

                I think the haitian mangoes are offered in most indian markets as well.

                they are the pale green turning to yellow large flattish kidney shaped mangoes. You ought to be able to find them elsewhere around the city , in hispanic, west indian and indian neighborhoods.

                for example, Ive bought them at Patel Grocery and Bangla Nagar (Church Ave ) in the past aswell as at the tropical fruit/sugar cane truck that parks on 3rd Ave S of 38th Street across from the Brooklyn costco.

                1. re: jen kalb

                  Oh yes, I've tried these -- they're the best mangos that are regularly available in the city -- but they are usually a bit stringy and sometimes lacking in full-on sweetness.

                  Tell your daughter to look for the small Neelam mangos -- those were my hands-down favorites in Bangalore (interesting to see if they're available in Lucknow)!

                2. re: CitySpoonful

                  Don't know if they are grown everywhere, but some regions are more famous for their mangoes than others. The konkan area is, i believe famous for their alphonse mangoes and other regions have their special ones. (my mother was once on a domestic Biman flight that made an unscheduled stop so the crew could get some mangoes. The plane landed at an airstrip and the pilot and attendants got off and disappeared, returning sometime later with cases of mangoes. When questioned, one of the attendants said, "Oh, it's mango season and this place is known for their mangoes." no idea what variety, tho.)
                  In my experience, the alphonse mangoes are intensely sweet and perfumey but their flesh can tend toward the mushy side. I think different varieties are best depending on what you want to use them for.
                  I agree with Jen that the Haitian mangoes are consistently the best ones here. But even then, you have to pick carefully.

                3. re: jen kalb

                  Jen, in addition to CS's question, do the truck guys sell mangoes by the box only?

                4. re: CitySpoonful

                  I am sorry to report this year's Alphonsos are not very good. Still, I believe that Indian Alphonsos are among the best mangoes in the world, for the reasons described above.