The hashtag #MangoWars went viral in India last weekend as thousands of Indians joined a Twitter tirade over which variety of mango is the best. The debate started when one user claimed that ‘Alphonso is the most overrated’ mango and only ‘brand-conscious Babalog’ like it.
“Alphonso is the most overrated stuff you will ever come across …. Try Dashahari, Chausa, Safeda, and ultimate Langda/Malda,” he wrote. Within minutes, the tweet went viral as lovers of the Alphonso – named after a Portuguese general, Afonso de Albuquerque, who established Portuguese colonies in India – attacked this user.
“Send me your address. I’ll send you home-grown south Gujarat Kesar from my orchard … I’m pretty sure this will end the discussion and the war,” wrote one user. Another, a lover of the ripe green Langda variety, posted: “East or West, Langda is the best”. And thus it went as angry exchanges, even insults, flew thick and fast between mango lovers, each claiming their region’s variety to be the best.
“ Alphonso aficionados shud not fall for YRD’s trick & stay away from helping to amplify other varieties across India… Alphonso IS MANGO, rest are just fruits who settled for less during evolution,” a user wrote defending Alphonsos.
Langda aam, which is a green-colored mango with deep-orange flesh that comes in towards the latter half of summer, found quite a few takers as well. “East or West, Langda is the best”, said another user. “I actually hate Alphonso. Give me Langda any day. It’s Alphonso that is lame, not Langda.” Wrote another expressing her love for this unique variety.
— Dr Navnath Gavhane IAS (@navnathias) April 11, 2021
Then there were people who spoke about the varieties that are not very widely available across the country. A user replied to the thread writing “Nothing beats the Goan Mankuraad Mango. It is rated higher than the Alphonso, which again originates from Goa. Having tasted all other types, I would say, once you try Mankuraad, you won’t like anything else. “Another user spoke about a variety called Mallika, that hails from Karnataka. “Nothing comes close to a Mallika- ultimate queen of taste. Alphonso is so overrated”.
Some users also voted for Kesar, “Kesar is ultimate bliss. Rich in color, sweet in taste “.
While the summer season brings with it humidity, sweat, and extreme temperatures, it is also accompanied by season favorites like Mango. Mango, most often called the ‘king of fruits is enjoyed by young and old across India. From eating the raw fruit to infusing it in drinks and other food, people savor it in any and every form.
Dasheri (retweet) Alphonso (like) pic.twitter.com/9BWyB7EPZe
— CA Ashutosh Soni (@CA_AshutoshSoni) April 11, 2021
What’s fascinating is that this one fruit has a number of variants grown across the country. This juicy and pulpy fruit comes in many shapes, sizes, and flavors. Different states in India boast different varieties of mango including Alphonso, Chaunsa, Langra, Totapuri, and Kesar. While Uttar Pradesh is famous for Dusheri mangoes,, West Bengal is known for the Himsagr variety of males and Andra Pradesh is popular for growing Safeda mangoes.
With their pulpy, juicy flesh, fragrant aroma, and attractive looks, mangoes have a passionate fan base across the country of 1.3 billion. The mango is the national fruit – as it is in Pakistan and the Philippines – and discussions over which variety is the best often become heated. India, known as the “land of mangoes”, is the world’s largest producer of mangoes, accounting for almost 40 percent of global production, followed by China and Thailand.
More than 1,500 varieties are cultivated in India, each with its own distinct taste, shape, and hue, among them the rose-tinted Gulab Khas, the Totapuri, shaped like a bird’s beak, and the voluptuous Neelam and Malda, to name a few.
Northern Uttar Pradesh, synonymous with the ambrosial Dussehri mangoes, also grows the fibrous Chausa. Then there are Kesar, Banganpalli, and Langda from southern Andhra Pradesh, while West Bengal takes pride in its Himsagr variety. Mangoes are native to India. They were first cultivated there more than 5,000 years ago in the hills of northeast India bordering Myanmar.
— Free Press Journal (@fpjindia) April 12, 2021
In Indian culture, mango trees symbolize abundance, and the leaves and fruit are offered to gods at temples. Mango leaves are also hung outside homes to ward off evil spirits. Buddhists consider the fruit sacred, and it is mentioned in Hindu and Buddhist religious texts.