It is not without reason that mango is deemed as the king of fruits. For many, the summer season is welcome despite the scorching heat just to enjoy the delicious summer fruit — mango.
To celebrate the mango season, Mawra, an organization of expatriate women, organized a mango festival and competition last week featuring over 35 different dishes, all of which had mango as their main ingredient. From puddings to smoothies, juices, spices, pickles, breads and cakes, chutneys (sauces), jams, marmalades, and ice cream, the participants ensured their food represented the best in taste as well as creativity.
The chief guest and judge of the competition, wife of the Pakistani Consul General, Fouzia Salik Khan, said she was impressed with the presentation style of the various dishes. "The mango festival is an excellent experience. Such programs should take place more often to promote our culture and traditions. Mangoes from Pakistan and South Asia come in a number of varieties, most of which are available here in the Kingdom. We should organize such events on a big scale, where we can display our fruits and heritage," said Khan.
She said she will try to organize another mango festival in cooperation with the Pakistani consulate to showcase the different species of mangoes alongside a number of mango delicacies.
“Mangoes bring happiness to our lives. In Asian culture, people store the fruit for a long time by adding different spices to it. We also make many sweet and savory delicacies with mango and this competition reflects our enthusiasm with regard to our favorite fruit," said Tabassum Alvi, Mawra president.
The mango season usually lasts from April to September, but varies according to the weather of different places. According to a study, every second person likes to eat mango. China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh,Thailand, Brazil and Indonesia are the largest producers of mangoes. Although China is a big mango cultivator, nothing beats the taste of mangoes from India and Pakistan. There are about 450 varieties of mangoes in South Asia. Some of these include: Langrra, Aman Dasehri, Al-Phanso, Samr-e-Bahisht, Fajri Kalaan, Chaunsa, Anwar Ratol, Sindhrri, Banganpaali, Badami and Neelam.
The winners of the mango competition included: first prize, Farzana Mansoor and Dr. Rafat Ishrat for mango bread and 'mango boat,' respectively; second prize, Talat Zia and Masooda Afzaal for nauratan chutneys (sauces) and mango tart, respectively; and third prize, Fouzia Fazal and Tazeel Saleem, for mini cup cakes and mango cheesecake; respectively.
Mariya Kidawi, Shama Khan, Nilofer Tanweer and Nosheen Majeed won special prizes for creatively presenting their dishes.
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