The term grand cru is used in a non-official context to denote a high-quality of the product. generally, this term is used with products such as Wine, Whiskey, Chocolates and cheeses.
The day of Akshaya Tritiya is considered as the third day of unending prosperity in Hindu/Jain culture. Also, on his day the first mango of the season is relished by everyone. The mangoes are bought a few weeks before unripe. Then we ripen them by storing them in the hay for a few days. This process is very important. Hence, whoever oversees this must flip mangoes every day and keep. Eyes on them so that there will be no overripe mango in the batch. There are almost 30 different varieties of mango present in India.
All varieties are spread all over India. From the northern side of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh to the south till Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The states of Bengal houses some of the delicious varieties as well. And at the end comes the one who is known as the king of mangoes “Alphonso” or we call it Hapus. The Alphonso holds an interesting story.
So, the Alphonso even though is known as a mango from India. It’s a Variety originated from Portugal. In the 1600s during the military exploration led by a Portuguese explorer named “Alphonso de Albuquerque”. Now you know why it is named Alphonso. Also, this same variety travelled to TWO different coastal parts of India. One being the Kokan and another being southern part of Tamil Nadu. Well, it thrived and flourished on the Kokan side more and people preferred the taste more.
The world-famous varietal of Hapus is “Devgad Hapus” came to Devgad in the 90s. The characteristics of Devgad Hapus are no fibres, creamy texture, distinct perfumed aroma and even-size of the mangoes. Even after many experiments, people couldn’t replicate similar textures of Hapus. The reason is the high levels of laterite present in the soil of Devgad.
To say Devgad Hapus is the “Grand Cru” or “Blanc de Blanc” of mangoes in India. Mother Earth holds the magic. Replicating the gift of this nature is impossible. People of Devgad Understood the potential of this Mango. And soon They started sending it to the Markets of Mumbai and Pune. Hence, a person from these cities rarely eats a mango other than Hapus. A few years back I thought that there should be a better mango than Hapus somewhere. The mangoes I have eaten from south-east Asia to the mangoes from Mexico and Southern America. Have no balance as the Hapus. it’s near perfection in every aspect. that sweetness, the texture and the unparalleled smell of this Mango
I had a bite of Hapus almost after 2.5 years. That one bite of Hapus and I recalled the tastes of those different mangoes. I realized that other mangoes stood no chance. Maybe that the reason it makes Alphonso The “Grand Cru”. The quest for finding a better and more balanced mango will go on. At the same time, I think that I Won’t find any.