I've been on blog hiatus while I've been traveling, working like a fiend, and visiting America, but I'm back and have lots to catch up… First and foremost, there is a MANGO FESTIVAL across the street at the palace grounds!!!! There's always some cacophony and crowd there for some exhibition or other, so I don't usually pay much attention, but when I saw the giant mango at the entrance, all I could think was "Oh yeah, baby, that's what I'm talking about!" and I made a bee line for the ticket counter.At first it reminded us a bit of a state fair atmosphere with the informational pavilions, but the mango hawkers' pavilion was pure India: loud, messy, crowded, colorful, and delicious. I thought I had more than my share before I happened on the sales pavilion, but I guess I was wrong, because about 30 mangoes later I emerged with full bags. These are by far the most delicious mangoes I have ever eaten, and so far, the Alphonsa is still the queen of them all. A couple of hawkers insisted yesterday that their "rare" variety was sweeter than the Alphonsa, so I bought a kilo, but I've yet to taste them, as they are still ripening. I'll believe it when I eat it. Last night we had mango lassis made from 8 Alphonsa mangoes and some yogurt, and I'm sure a sweeter drink has never passed my lips. I did indeed swoon.
All in all a great experience. This is some of the best of what Kerala has to offer, and I was loving it! I've been waiting all year for mango season in Kerala, and it has not disappointed. I'll be "putting up" some mangoes in the freezer with some lemon juice and a very small dash of sugar, blended, to use as a sauce for yogurt or ice cream, or just to take a direct hit from. I don't want to be caught without mango goodness during the monsoon season, in case the mangoes stop coming… Enjoy the photos below, sorry, I know it will make you quite hungry for the mango nectar….
|Alphonsas….Export Quality but I snagged them before they got out of the country!|
|Entrance to Exhibit|
|Luscious mango ice crew|
|Humble beginning for the fruit|
|a few varieties: sugar babies in the middle!|
|bounty spilling over|
|"rare" Tamil Nadu variety I was overcharged for|
|Gets the "great shape" award|
|a mound of sugar baby goodness|
|Hawkers plying their trade|
|Hawker who asked me to take his photo|
|drummers in action|
|Tree in park at Sunset|
|Sun sets on the mango festival|