the-south-asian.com FEBRUARY 2002
FEBRUARY 2002 Contents
'My Secret of
at Every Alien Door'
Fashion & Jewellery
Page 3 of 5
The South Asian MANGO
- The Fruit of Kings & the King of Fruits
General Zia sent P.M. Indira Gandhi "Anwar Rataul" Mangoes originating from Pakistani orchards. Mrs. Gandhi returned the favour after finding out that the origin of the Anwar Rataul was actually from Rataul, a garden called Shora-e-Afaq, near Meerut, India. According to a farmer from that area the story of the Anwar Ratual mango variety is that there were two brothers ; one of them, Anwar, migrated to Pakistan and started the variety Anwar Rataul.
Ironically General Ziaís C-130 plane was reportedly sabotaged by loading the plane with crates of mangoes [concealed with bombs] from Bahawalpur from where the plane took off and crashed soon after.
Recently General Musharraf before going to the Agra Peace summit in 2001 sent Chaunsa mangoes to the Indian leaders - PM and Home Ministers.
As a child growing up in Pakistan , the earliest memories that I have of mangoes are the week-end picnics with the family at some nearby irrigation rest house near a barrage; mangoes would be kept cool by leaving them overnight in buckets that were dipped into the mountain fed canal water.
Then again the mangoes trees were also the source of raw unripe mangoes, which after taking the skin off would be eaten. These were a favorite of the young school girls who would apply a mixture of salt and red chilies and eat the sour mangoes rich in vitamin C. Formations of parrots would screech into mango trees to have their take of raw mangoes. Our favourite weapons for getting at the fruit were the homemade sling shots with rubber from old tire tubes and the Y -shaped fork from the mango trees themselves.
Yet another memory is that of making fresh mango ice cream in the old hand driven ice-cream machine which would be stuffed from the sides with lots of crushed ice and salt.
I remember the day when one of my fatherís bosses actually grafted a mango bud onto the branch bud of another mango tree. This aspect of creating new varieties of mangoes was a real wonder for me.
Mango- Nutrition facts :
Mangoes are high in beta-carotene, and contain all four recognized anti-oxidants [Vitamin A, C, E and Selenium] that prevent heart disease, cancer and diabetes, the three biggest killers in Western European and US states. One mango contains three times the recommended daily intake of beta Carotene and vitamin A. The Mughal maharajas and Nawabs and kings probably did not have this analysis but they intuitively felt good about eating mangoes and hence named it the King of fruits and cultivated it extensively.
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