Pakistani mango: The king of fruits

Pakistan's “king of fruits” is said to shine at every feast, for rich or the poor alike. (Shutterstock)
Updated 13 August 2019

Pakistani mango: The king of fruits

  • Mangoes are not only Pakistan’s national fruit, they are also part of culture

In the 19th century Mirza Ghalib, the great Urdu/Persian poet, immortalized the mango in his beautiful verses, describing it as the “king of fruits” and extolling qualities such as its exotic aroma and its honey-sweetness. It shines at every feast, for rich or the poor alike.

Mangoes are not only Pakistan’s national fruit, they are also part of culture, a networking tool, an instrument of social bonding and a diplomatic emissary worthy of being gifted to dignitaries all over the world.

At this time of the year, the renowned Chaunsa variety has arrived in the Kingdom, following on from the Sindhari, which ripens earlier. They are just two of 1595 known varieties of mangoes known. Other commercially produced varieties in Pakistan include Langra, Dasehri, Anwar Ratool, Samar Bahisht and Desi.




Pakistan's “king of fruits”. (Shutterstock)

The Chaunsa mango is known as one of the best in the the world. It is now grown in a number of places around the world, but originated in Rahim Yar Khan and Multan in Punjab. It is unusually sweet, with a wonderful fragrance, and has delicious, soft, succulent flesh with the a minimum of fiber. From the outside it might not look like a thing of beauty — it usually has a pale, matte-yellow appearance — but inside the thin peel lies a delight waiting to be discovered.

While the Chaunsa is considered by many to be the best mango, any Pakistani variety tastes sublime. It is also a very versatile fruit. Eaten with a paratha, it makes for a complete meal. A mango lassi (curd shake) in the morning provides an energy boost that will help to see you through the day. A mango salad for lunch and another lassi in place of afternoon tea will pep you up if you start to flag. Mangoes are also used to make ice-cream, squashes, juices, chutneys, pickles, puree and are sold sliced in syrup.

You don’t have to travel all the way to Pakistan to enjoy Pakistani mangoes; they are readily available in most food stores in the Kingdom. Pakistan produces nearly a million metric tonnes of mangoes a year and ranks as the fourth-largest exporter in the global market.

Pakistani mangoes are primarily consumed in the ethnic (Asian) consumer segment, but there is a growing trend of exports to North America and Europe, premium import markets with a 62 percent share in global mango imports.

The export potential of mangoes continues to grow, thanks to improvements in the cultivation, harvesting, packing and marketing processes.


School pupils among 12 dead in Slovak crash on ‘Road of Death’

Updated 8 min 54 sec ago

School pupils among 12 dead in Slovak crash on ‘Road of Death’

  • According to reports on Slovak commercial TV channel Markiza, the truck skidded and hit the bus from the side
  • Some 30 firefighters are at the scene to help the injured, while rescuers have deployed helicopters and sent in psychologists

BRATISLAVA: At least 12 people were killed, including four students, when a public bus carrying school pupils and a truck loaded with rocks and soil collided in mountainous western Slovakia on Wednesday, rescuers and officials said.
Officials said 20 people were hurt in the crash, which happened on the outskirts of the city of Nitra, a regional capital some 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of Bratislava, around 1:00 p.m. local time (1200 GMT).
The section where the accident occurred is commonly referred to as the “Road of Death,” according to local media.
Images from the site showed the truck lying on its side and the bus wedged in a ditch, with a large amount of soil and rocks strewn on the road.
“Mostly teenagers, secondary grammar students, were aboard this regular bus line from Nitra to Jelenec,” Nitra fire brigade spokesman Michal Varga told AFP, adding that the truck was “fully loaded with rocks.”
He added that the cause of the crash was unknown.
The fire and rescue department said on its Facebook page that the toll was 12 dead and 20 injured.
Minister of Health Andrea Kalavska told journalists at the accident site that of those killed “at least four were underage.”
Interior Minister Denisa Sakova told the press at the scene that the truck was “probably overloaded.”
According to reports on Slovak commercial TV channel Markiza, the truck skidded and hit the bus from the side.
The bus serves as a regular line between Nitra and the village of Jelenec east of the city.
Rescuers at first put the number of dead at 13, before correcting the toll.
Some 30 firefighters are at the scene to help the injured, while rescuers have deployed helicopters and sent in psychologists.
They said rescue work was hampered by bad weather as Slovakia was hit by heavy rain on Wednesday, although there was no rain when the accident occurred.