In 2020, for the very first time, thanks to the generosity of an Indian shop owner in “Curry Hill” in Manhattan (high 20s on Lexington), I got to try the glory and deliciousness that is the kesar mango. Kesar mangoes originate in Gujarat in India, and given India is known to have one of the biggest varieties of mangoes in the world, this mango is quite famous for its deep complexity, as well as its deep orange flesh color. I still remember when I first had it with Chris. We filmed it as an episode for Yvonne meets Food, and I was totally blown away: it’s sweet with strange acidity notes throughout. It’s as though it starts sweet, and then the acid hits you later. But depending on what part of the fruit you are eating (or which section of the pit you are sucking :), it’s more in-your-face at some times vs. others. The color is so deep and orange that it could even look like someone artificially colored it! Each bite is literally not the same as the previous, and I think that’s what, in general, differentiates Indian mangoes from the ataulfo and kent mangoes that are grown in Mexico and readily available in the U.S. during mango season: the complexity of Indian mangoes is just unmatched.
So I was pretty excited when Chris surprised us with a delivery of 12 Kesar mangoes, imported from India, sourced through delivery via Say Weee! Though they were pricey at about $4 each, these babies are worth it. They are small and have far less flesh than the ataulfos, but man, each bite is like BAM! SO MUCH COMPLEXITY AND FLAVOR. They keep surprising you with each lick and bite! And thankfully with this order, none of them seem to have any ripening issues as the Alphonso mangoes we got from Patel Brothers last May. We’ve already cut six open, and while some were a bit overly ripe (and of course, went straight into homemade lassis), the others were succulent, rich, and lick-your-fingers-and-cutting-board juicy and good. Yummmmm.