Mango: King of Fruits

India's most beloved fruit inspires passionate devotion

Mango King of Fruits
James Roper

Each summer, mango season brings India to its knees. It's a time when everyone comes together to celebrate the fragrant, yellow-fleshed fruit. People eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Street vendors slice it and serve it chilled and spiced. More than a thousand varieties of mango are indigenous to India. Everyone loves the creamy Alphonso, which grows abundantly in the south, but there are turf wars over which region has the best, and people anxiously read the newspapers for the latest updates on price and availability. When the season is over, pantry shelves are stocked with mango chutneys, pickles, powders, and dried fruit—wistful reminders of the best days of summer.