The History of the Alphonso Mango
We’re currently in the middle in the Alphonso mango season, which runs from April until the end of June, and serves as the tantalizing flavor base for our new SomruS Alphonso Mango cream liqueur. During the Alphonso mango’s brief season, it becomes a national obsession throughout India, as people use the fruit in dishes like curries, lassis, pakoras and faloodas. It’s both a celebration and a rush to enjoy this mango as much as possible until the next year’s harvest.
With its distinctive, yellow skin and saffron-hued fruit, the Alphonso mango stands out from other varieties. It’s named after Afonso de Albuquerque, a Portuguese general of many accomplishments, one of the lesser of which (but most far-reaching) was introducing grafting techniques to India that allowed for the creation of the Alphonso Mango.
The Alphonso mango is one of the most expensive types of mango in the world, and is grown primarily in western India. Renowned chefs from around the world have used the mango in a variety of dishes, and in India, it’s not uncommon to send a box of Alphonso mangoes to friends, bosses or loved ones as a mark of respect. Many newspapers will update readers on the cost and availability of the fruit during its brief seasonal availability.
The mango itself has a much longer history. Did you know that the genus belongs to the cashew family? Weird, right? Originally cultivated in South Asia, by 10th century CE, they could be found as far away as Africa. As the Americas opened up, it flourished here in our tropical and subtropical climates as well. Its popularity has been universal, and mangoes now represent one of the largest cultivated tropical fruits. The mango is the national fruit of India, Pakistan and the Philippines. And beyond this lofty designation, India is the world’s largest producer of mangoes, contributing 42% of all mangoes grown in the world.
Sejal Sukhadwala of The Guardian described the flavor of the Alphonso mango this way, “imagine a cross between peach, nectarine, apricot and melon with notes of honey and citrus. But better.” We couldn’t agree more. It’s why, among all the mangos in world, we chose the Alphonso mango to flavor our newest cream liqueur. It captures all the culinary joy of the season in a bottle, allowing you to taste the joy of the Alphonso mango all year round.