The Mango Season...
For as long as I remember, this was one of the highlights of my every summer vacation. The big big four dozen (albeit badly constructed) wooden box or the पेटी ('peti') bought from only one vendor (throughout the years..we were very loyal to him!). The dried grass covering each layer of 12 mangoes. The way each layer ripens slowly! It was like a ritual every summer and although I am not on vacation anymore (my student days are behind me), the ritual continues.
According to Wikipedia the fruit is named after Afonso de Albuequerque, who used to bring them on his travels to Goa. The locals took to the mango and the rest as they say is history ;).
Now the mango is a dessert in itself but people have come with many many innumerable desserts and products made with the mango as a central ingredient. There is the obvious non aerated packaged mango juice (Slice, Maaza, Frooti) and lesser known but equally famous (especially in Maharashtra) आम्बा बर्फी / वडी (Aamba Vadi - a kind of Mango Mithai), साखर आम्बा / मोराम्बा (Moraamba - a kind a deliciously decadent Mango preserve), आम्रखंड (Aamrakhand - Shrikhanda but with mango - sweetened hung curd with mango), आमरस (Aamaras - Mango pulp - but don't go by the name pulp its so delicious that you cant stop at one serving!), आम्ब्या चा शिरा (Aambya cha shira - Mango Halwa),
आम्बा भात (Aamba bhaat - Mango Rice), Mango Icecream, Mango Sundae, Mango Mastani, the list goes on.
Now I have experimented this year and made Mango cheesecake, but I'll be saving that for my next post!