The lesser known mango varieties of Andhra Pradesh

“A bite of Kobbari Mamidi will make pucker up,” says P Savitri gleefully. Sitting with a basket of these refreshingly-green mangoes at Kancharapalem, Savitri is talking about Kothapalli Kobbari, a local variety of mango that is named for its coconut-like pulp.

While Banganapalli is a favourite among all mango varieties, there are many local ones that have been sidelined, Kothapalli Kobbari is one of them. The palm-sized mangoes are priced between ₹ 20 and ₹35 per piece.

Kothapalli Kobbari

Savitri says that many people prefer it raw though it is equally delicious when ripe. “It is mostly used in pickles, as it has a dominant sweet and sour taste. However, it can also be sliced and eaten with a pinch of salt,” she says. Cashing in on the season’s flavour, Savitri who also sells flowers brought the produce from Bobbili. “This variety’s longer shelf life makes it a better investment unlike the ripe ones, that perish soon,” she says, adding that it is available in the market for three months.

P Savitri selling Kothapalli Kobbari, a local mango variety named for its coconut-like pulp

P Savitri selling Kothapalli Kobbari, a local mango variety named for its coconut-like pulp   | Photo Credit: C.V.Subrahmanyam

Cheruku Rasam

Every summer, K Durgarao comes to Visakhapatnam from Rajahmundry with sacks of Cheruku Rasam, a local variety grown predominantly in the East Godavari districts. The 27-year-old fruit vendor stays in the city for over three months until his stock is exhausted.

“Cheruku rasam has fewer takers. The name comes from its sweetness, as it is sweeter than other varieties. Hence the name Cheruku which translates to sugarcane. This variety is juicier than Banganapalli and is used to make shakes. So those who like to eat mango slices don’t like it.” Unlike Banganapalli which is available for almost four months, Cheruku rasam is available only for a month and half. Given this time frame, it is priced almost ₹50 higher than any other varieties. A dozen of Cheruku rasam can cost between ₹500 and ₹450.

K Durga Rao, a fruit vendor from Rajahmundry, selling Cheruku Rasam, a variety of mango that is largely found the Southern states of India.

K Durga Rao, a fruit vendor from Rajahmundry, selling Cheruku Rasam, a variety of mango that is largely found the Southern states of India.   | Photo Credit: C.V.Subrahmanyam

Panchadara Kalasa

Fifty-year-old A Parvathy loves summer, as the dreadful heat is assuaged by the anticipation of mangoes. Parvathy runs a tiny fruit stall in Kancharapalem. Come April and she pulls all possible strings to make several varieties available at her stall. “No fruit can ever match the joy of a mango,”she grins. Apart from a few boxes of grapes, her stall is filled with different varieties of mangoes from various districts of Andhra Pradesh. Suverna rekha, Pariya, Panukulu ... name it and she has it. However, the most popular are Banganapalli followed by Panchadara kalasa. Shaped like a water pot, the latter has a distinct sugary taste. The fruit starts hitting the market by middle of April and is available for over two months. Priced between ₹300 and ₹200 per dozen, this variety is mainly grown in the East Godavari district.

A Parvathi, a local fruit vendor sells over five local varieties of mangoes brought from various parts of the State

A Parvathi, a local fruit vendor sells over five local varieties of mangoes brought from various parts of the State   | Photo Credit: C.V.Subrahmanyam

Parvathy also has Suvarna Rekha, a variety that can be easily identified by the red tinge near the stalk. Among the first to hit the market, it is available till June end. It is less expensive and available for ₹150 a dozen. “Many go by the look and these varieties are not as visually appealing as a Banganapalli. However, I prefer Suvarna rekha or Panchadara kalasa, as they are sweet and juicy,” she adds. Parvathy procures these varieties from East and West Godavari districts and a few from Visakhapatnam district. Does she have a favourite? Yes, the Cheruku Rasam, she says.

Let's block ads! (Why?)