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The variety is named after Afonso de Albuquerque, a Portuguese general and military expert who helped establish Portuguese colonies in India. The Portuguese introduced grafting on mango trees to produce extraordinary varieties like Alphonso. The fruit was then introduced to the Konkan region in Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and some parts of southern state of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
It is also one of the most expensive varieties of mango and is grown mainly in the western part of India including Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Raigad districts and in the Konkan region of India. Each mango weighs between 150 and 300 grams (5.3 and 10.6 oz).
Alphonso mangoes are often discussed as a popular cultivar. Alphonso mangoes have a rich, creamy, tender texture and are low in fiber content, with a delicate, creamy pulp. These characteristics make Alphonso one of the most demanded cultivars. The skin of a fully ripe Alphonso mango turns bright golden yellow with a tinge of red which spreads across the top of the fruit. The flesh of the fruit is golden saffron colour.
An import ban imposed in 1989 by the United States on Indian mangoes, including the Alphonso, was lifted only in April 2007. However, the mangoes must be treated before entering the country in order to stop the introduction of non-native fruit flies, destructive fungi, and other pests that could cause great damage to American agriculture. The European Union imposed a ban from May 1, 2014 to December 2015, on import of mangoes, after alleging to have found unwanted pests such as "non-European fruit flies" in some consignments. Indian government has described this decision as arbitrary and businesses claimed they will lose hundreds of thousands of pounds due to the ban.
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- Sejal Sukhadwala. "Do you know Alphonso mango? | Life and style". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 2015-06-25.
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- BBC News: India's much-loved Alphonso mango hit by poor weather
- BBC News: Ban on Indian mango imports to EU comes into force
- The Economic Times: Vagaries of nature, rising input costs to kill the famed Alphonso mango crop
- The Guardian (Newsblog): Do you know Alphonso mango?
- DNA News: Cold delays Alphonso mango's arrival in Mumbai