Yes, the title is correct. This post and these pictures are telling the story of an Indian Alphonso mango tree, planted in a farm in Wafra area on the soil of Kuwait. The tree felt at home enough to bear not only regular Alphonso mangoes, no no, JUMBO alphonso mango fruits and there were enough of them to make it into a carton and arrive at my doorsteps about ten days ago!
When I heard about an Alphonso mango tree in Kuwait I was skeptical. I’ve heard about attempts to grow mango trees here and they’d grow all right but our desert climate meant it might never bear any fruit. When I posted about receiving the box of mangoes on my Instagram account I was mocked, for apparently a mango grown in Kuwait must taste like acid.
Well guess what, mangoes need patience. They need to be kept in a nice lonely place and left alone to develop their taste. I smelled them and they did smell like Alphonsoes, albeit a bit less fragrant than the ones flown from India. As I picked them up one by one I noticed some had a layer of sand on them and as I puffed it away I was almost in tears. This sand comes from Kuwaiti soil -or perhaps one of those lovely sandstorms we are used to- this is Kuwaiti sand, this is a little fellow Kuwaiti fruit now and it was grown on a Kuwaiti farm! I couldn’t have been any prouder <3
The size is jumbo, they were bigger than my palm -check the picture below-! You know these jumbo ones are really hard to come by. You have to place your name in a waiting list at one of those local suppliers and you can wait an entire season and your turn wouldn’t come still. I once, after waiting forever, got a carton of the supposedly jumbo sized mangoes and they were only 150% bigger than the usual ones we got. These? I’ve never had one of those, they are as big as the Pakistani mangoes my parents are so fond of that arrive after the Alphonso season is over.
I waited patiently, patiently, until the time has come to cut one up and face the truth of the fruit. Was it fully developed in taste the was it was in size? Was it juicy or did it take after our lovely dessert weather and decided to be dry? How did it fare on an Alphonso mango scale of authenticity?
Juicy? Check! It was quite juicy and once cut up the lovely aroma of mangoes wafted up. There was juice everywhere! A diamond cut ensured I had nice good chunks of mangoes to sink my teeth into and check how it tasted.
My husband can verify this, but on my first encounter with my first bite of the Kuwaiti Alphonso mango, I closed my eyes and mumbled “Oh my god”. 100% pure Alphonso, taste, aroma, and juice. And despite the negative attitude predicting it was sour, it was as sweet as honey or maple syrup. It was GOOD, as good as a proper Alphonso should be <3
The only thing that was missing was the bright orange colour you sometimes -and not always- get with Indian Alphonsoes. Our Kuwaiti was was two or three shades paler but who cares as long as it tastes the part!
Now, who planted those golden babies and from which farm did they come from? The name is Home & Garden Nursery (@HomeAndGarden) and I believe many of you guys living locally are pretty familiar with their name for they are very popular landscape and garden designers in Kuwait. They are the very ones who gave me my favourite The Tickle Me plant almost two years ago! The plant is alive, well, flourishing, and still shy to my or anyone’s touch and I love it to bits!
Thank you Home & Garden, I’m so proud <3 I cannot wait for the day when you start selling shrubs of the mango tree so I can plant it in my home garden <3 I can imagine it already, come Spring and I’d wake up to a fresh mango waiting to be picked up for breakfast <3 One day this will happen, mark my words! Now I’d be grateful if your next adventure includes a Sakura tree or even a Sakura Bonsai tree 😀