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The furtive aroma of the great Indian Alphonso Mango

January 3, 2015

The most characteristic quality about Indian mango, specifically for the Alphonso mango is the aroma. It is this quality that makes this Indian mango so distinct and different from any other variety found around the world. The credit for this unique smell can to great extend be given to the soil and then to the climatic conditions which help in giving mango their unique aroma.
The Alphonso mango from Ratnagiri is most loved for its exotic sweet taste and equally exotic aroma. Ratnagiri is a port city on the Arabian Sea coast in Ratnagiri District in Maharashtra, India. The fruit finds a perfect home in the Konkan strip of western coastal stretch of India where the fertile alluvial soil nourishes them to abundance and produces the most authentic Alphonso. Apart from its deep sweet taste, the Alphonso mango is cherished for its tender texture, devoid of any fiber and aromatic flesh.
The distinctive aroma and flavour of Indian mango is rendered by the presence of various volatile organic chemicals mainly belonging to terpene, furanone, lactone and ester classes. The presence of monoterpenes, “Myrcene” and “(Z)-ocimene” and “Lactones” and “Furanones” provides a very distinctive, vibrant, multi-facet aroma and flavour to Indian mango cultivars, specifically the Alphonso mangoes.
The lactones and furanones present in Alphonso mango are synthesized while ripening. However, terpenes and the other flavourants exist in immature as well as ripened fruits. The monoterpene, “myrcene” is found in ripened Alphonso mango and is the reason for the citrusy, woodsy and fruity aroma of Alphonso and other species like lemongrass, hops, Indian bay tree, cannabis and verbena. At Shimla Hills, we never use artificial ripening methodologies to ensure that the “myrcene” stays intact and so does the natural aroma of the mango.
Interestingly, terpenes like myrcene were evolved by plants to lure certain favourable insects and prevent animals from grazing. However, human beings being a much evolved, higher species had an evolutionary ability to not be adversely affected by these chemicals, by moderating their ability to be assimilated in our bodies. The only effect these chemicals have on our system is that they magnify the euphoric effect of cannabis and other similar recreational drugs. So next time do eat a mango before you smoke marijuana to boost the level of high!

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