Dear Mango lovers, the season that you have been waiting for is finally here. The season when the mercury soars and so do people’s temper. But we mango lovers couldn’t be happier, as we feast on the luscious fruit, totally unmindful of the heat, the sweat and the high `discomfort factor’ that the weather reports are always talking about.
Give us mango maniacs the fruit in any form, green or ripe, in the form of mouth-watering chutnies and achaars, or in shakes or smoothies - we are always ready for extra helpings. I remember my hostel days, when in the lazy summer afternoons, we would all get together to prepare `kaancha aam maakha’ – shredded unripe mango tossed with salt, sugar and green chillies. My fingers have stopped moving on the keyboard as I write about this Bengal speciality; I can see a bowlful of this delightful concoction in my mind’s eyes and can’t stop drooling over it.
Coming back to terra firma and ripe mangoes. There are countless varieties of this delicious fruit. Lyangra and Himshagor from Bengal are big favourites. But then Alphonso, considered the most superior variety of mango is grown mostly in the Konkan region of our country. Recently, during an informal tete- a- tete with a nutritionist, I came across a piece of information which would make weightwatchers jump with joy. Guess what! Mangoes have very little fat in them. Latest research says, if you limit yourself to one or two mangoes a day, they will not contribute to weight gain. Don’t gorge on them every day. Moderation is the watchword – for mangoes as well as for almost everything else in life.
There are more reasons to feel happy. Mangoes are rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K and most of the B vitamins except vitamin B12. Mangoes also have traces of omega-3 and omega-6 and are laden with minerals and fibre. Enjoy the sweet and succulent fruit this year without any fear. No need to feel guilty and watch your weight at every step. You can thank me later.