When the heat of the summer sets in, there is one thought that pops up in the minds of Indians everywhere – mangoes! The king of fruits comes in many varieties, the Indian subcontinent itself has around 283 types, only 30 of which are known.Beloved by royals, the golden fruit has always had an element of luxury associated with it. And some of the mango varieties come at an eye-watering price.
Taiyo no Tamago
Cultivated in the Miyazaki region of Japan, the carefully planted fruits are also known as “The Egg of the Sun.“ Thisprecious fruit will set you backapproximately ₹3-4 lakhs / kg. The reason for the exorbitant price tag is the care that goes into growing them.Japanese farmers wrap each mango in a small net, letting sunlight in, giving the fruit a uniform, ruby-red colour. The mango is not manually picked but allowed to fall when ready, ensuring ripeness. The protective net also cushions the fruit when it falls from the tree.Reportedly,a pair of these mangoes was sold for US $3,744 at an auction in 2017.
One of the costliest mangoes of India, grown in Murshidabad, West Bengal, the Kohitur sells for upto ₹1,500 / piece. This prized variety was created in the late 18th century during the reign of Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah only for the royals. Each fruit is carefully plucked by hand and swathed in cotton. According to legend, the Kohitur was cut only with ivory or bamboo knives and kings would delicately spear it with golden toothpicks. The limited supply of this variety of mango and its restricted area of cultivation contributes to the rise in price.
Top End Mangoes
The Top End, an area in Australia’s Northern Territory, is an unlikely candidate for producing some of the most expensive mangoes in the world, considering the major producers in South East Asia. However, Top End Mangoes holds the Guinness World Record for most expensive mangoes ever sold at an auction. In 2001, a tray of 16 mangoes was sold atthe Brisbane Produce Markets Charity Auction for $20,565(approx. ₹15 lakh). In a sweet gesture, the buyer then handed over the fruits to the children in the Mater Children’s Hospital in South Brisbane.
In the Alirajpur district, Madhya Pradesh, the bigger the mangoes the better. Priced between ₹500 – ₹1000 per piece, this variety is renowned for its unusual weight and sweetness.Measuring almost 11 inches and weighing 3.5-4 kg, the trees bearing this fruit need to be propped up to sustain the weight.Verymuch in demand, this indulgencemust be booked by buyers months in advance.
No list about mangoes can be complete without the mention of the all-time favourite Alphonso. The variety is named after Afonso de Albuquerque, a Portuguese general and military expert, who played arole in establishingPortuguese colonies in India.The Portuguese in turn introduced grafting of mango trees to produce varieties like Alphonso. Also known as ‘Hapus’,it can be priced at up to ₹3000 for a dozen. This saffron-coloured delicate fruit is popularly grown in Devgad andRatnagiri in Maharashtra.The state government has also granted a GI tag to Alphonso produced in Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and adjoining areas.