After almost going extinct, mango variety Azam-us-Samar, rumoured to be the favourite of Queen Victoria, is making a reappearance in the market through boutique farm AR4 Mangoes.
- The 21-acre mango farm at Yadagirigutta, near Hyderabad, is now not only growing Azam-us-Samar, but also growing Jehangir, fabled to be emperor Shah Jahan’s favourite mango variety from the Deccan.
- The Jehangir mango looks like an apple and is best consumed when green and ‘tight’. The fruit inside will be ripe and ready to eat.
- Once it turns orange-ish on the outside, it is best used for juice or pulp. Jehangir is extremely sweet and has a very prominent desi flavour. Meaning, it has a strong fragrance of the original mango.
- Jehangir, along with the fragrance, is also known to have the original flavour of mango.
- Azam-us-Samar gets its name from Nawab Azam Ali Khan, who developed the mango variety, and that each mango can weigh between 400 grams to 1 kilogram. “The fruit, however, is not very attractive to look at and has a rather uneven surface.”
- The fable behind the Azam-us-Samar mango goes thus: Developed by the Nawab at his sprawling gardens at Shadnagar, this variety made it to the Buckingham Palace, along with other different mango varieties that were regularly sent to the Queen during her reign. The legend goes that Queen Victoria tasted them all and chose ‘Azam-us-Samar’ as the best. It is said that the mango was sent to the Queen until the death of Nawab Azam Ali Khan, after which this variety began disappearing.