Expert Zone

Straight from the Specialists

Where are the Alphonsos?

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

I had my first Alphonso mango of the season a few weeks ago in London. Oddly enough, although so many things are so easy to get hold of in London, Alphonsos aren’t. You either have to go to very expensive food halls — places like Fortnum & Mason or Selfridges or Harrods — or pick them up at one of the more selective South Asian food shops that are scattered around.

Even stranger, in London, a place which is in love with food, relatively few people have heard of Alphonsos. We bought a couple of boxes of Alphonsos when people came to lunch a couple of weeks ago and we offered them round and most of our guests, even those who were fairly well-travelled, had never heard of them, let alone eaten them. Naturally, everybody who tastes them is ecstatic and everybody wants to know where you can get them.

So, in London, where anyone who wants to can get practically anything from anywhere, why is the Alphonso mango such a comparative rarity — practically unknown?

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