Spending $35 for a case of mangoes seems extreme. That is, until you try them. Ever since the United States began allowing the importation of irradiated Indian mangoes two years ago, a lot of Indian-Americans have been attuned to their short season, pouncing as soon as the first shipments show up in local markets.
Two years ago, Patel Brothers in Decatur got its inaugural shipment of the Kesar variety of mango. I managed to snag a case and loved what I tried. These mangoes were sweet, fragrant, heavy with juice.
“Wait until you try a fresh Alphonso mango,” my Indian friends said.
Last Saturday, as I was driving by Patel Brothers, I decided to stop in on a whim and — score! — a fresh stack of cases of Alphonso mangoes. Gulping, I shelled out the $35 bucks for 10 mangoes.
It turned out to be money well spent. My fruit-crazed family and I made it through the first five mangoes, gnawing the pits to the quick, murmuring, “Omigod, omigod.” The next four were doled out deliberately. One remains hidden at home.
What makes these mangoes so remarkable? Maybe these five characteristics:
A clerk at Patel Brothers told me he expects the Indian mango season to last about 4 weeks.