On the Shelf – April 26th

As someone with a love of food, I’m always poking around in shops looking for new things to taste and try. And to share. On the Shelf is a new (-ish – we did one back in December) monthly feature in which we share our great food finds for the month.

Alphanso Mangoes
If you’ve never eaten an Alphanso mango, you don’t know what you’re missing. Not to be confused with the Mexican Atulfo mango which can be found in grocery stores from late February onwards, Alphanso mangoes come from southern India and are available only from early April to mid May. In Toronto, they can usually only be found is various shops in Little India, so head on over to Gerrard Street East and stop by Toronto Cash and Carry(1405 Gerrard Street East) or Koohinoor Foods (1438 Gerrard Street East) to try some. Alphansos are generally available by the box only (either a half or whole dozen) and 12 of them will run somewhere around $24. At $2 a piece – and smaller than the Atulfo, this might seem like an exorbitant price until you taste them, and then all other mangoes will be dead to you. A combination of floral and spice, Alphanso mangoes are juicy, heady and fragrant. (I’ve recently found canned Alphanso mangoes at my local supermarket – will report on those next month.)

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Hello Alphanso!

Look what I have… All the way from India, aboard a British Airways flight. 6 whole luscious, juicy, much-coveted Alphanso mangoes.

Okay… now there’s only 5.

Quite possibly the best mangoes in the world, definitely the best in North America, available for only a few short weeks. Actually, I advise my readers not to seek these out, because once you have one, regular old supermarket mangoes will be dead to you. You’ll never be able to eat another one of those hard, yellow woody things.

We went across town yesterday with the sole purpose of bringing home a box of these babies. The flesh is dark orange, juicy and sweet. They’re smooth, melting away to the consistency of purée in the mouth. They’re so fragrant, you can smell them through box and all the paper. All are perfectly ripe.

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