Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mangoes: First ones of the season at Olavipe

I took this photograph at Olavipe about two weeks back. The mango trees in that area had flowered early this year but because of mist at night and clouds, most of the blooms dropped off. Normally there would be another round of flowering. I hope it happens and that we would have a good supply of the ‘king of fruits’.

How did the name ‘mango’ originate? One story is that it stems from the Tamil word mangkay. The Portuguese called it manga. That is the Malayalam name as well. According to Wikipedia, the Vedas refer to it as ‘food of the gods’.

The fruit is considered to be very healthy. Mangoes are fiber rich and are known to be a good source for Vitamins A and C, beta carotene and potassium. The calories, sodium and fat content are low. It is said to increase sexual potency and to have medicinal properties too.

Mangoes have an important place in several Indian cuisines. Traditionally many people in India have been using the twigs and leaves from mango trees for cleaning teeth. Possibly the idea of chlorophyll toothpastes was inspired by this.However, some people are allergic to the sap and even the fruit itself, and to parts of the tree.

The mango tree is considered as a symbol of love. In many parts of India, mango leaves are invariably used for decorations on festive occasions.

Even as I write this my mind is on the tender mangoes that are growing to maturity back home. Of course one can buy the fruit anywhere, but for me there is nothing like the mangoes of Olavipe. I plan to be there when they ripen.

A Public Domain image from Wikimedia Commons showing details of mango is reproduced below:


Also see:

Mango trees: 'ottu mavu' and 'nattu mavu'

Mango Memories

Kerala Cuisine: Manga thera (mango mat) recipe


Unknown said...

Hello - I just found your blog when I was thinking this morning about Olavipe. My husband and I were there 4 years ago with Anto and Rema during a long honeymoon we spent in India, Burma and Thailand. We think of our time there often and with great fondness and just last night we were realizing we have not been in touch with them enough since our son was born 2 years ago. We will be in India in March but probably won't have time to get to Kerala. Reading your post about the mangoes has made me very sad about this . . . .

Pradeep Nair said...

Interesting bit about the origin of the word mango. By the way, where si Olavipe? In Tamil Nadu?

Unknown said...

Suzanne, thank you for the comment. I have forwarded it to Anto and Rema.
If you can't make it to Olavipe this year, next year perhaps. By then your son would be more active and you can run all over the place after him.

Unknown said...

Pradeep, Olavipe is in Kerala, about 30kms from Cochin.

Unknown said...

Abraham, I am so glad I found your blog. I am having fun perusing it when I have a minute here or there. Please do pass on my comment to Anto and Rema - I started to write them the other day and have not finished it yet. It looks like we have finalized our plans and while my husband will be in Delhi for a conference, I have decided to skip India this time and meet him in Paris for a week instead on his way home. You are right - our son will love Olavipe and we have been waiting until he is three to bring him to India, so perhaps a year from now that's where we'll be!