One of the most sought-after mangoes grown extensively in Nuzividu in Eluru district in Andhra Pradesh is the sinfully delicious rasalu. Also known as chinna rasalu (small) or cheruku rasalu (sugarcane) or pedda rasalu (big) depending on its size and sweetness, this native mango is perhaps the most popular juice mango of South India.
Rasalu is cultivated by small and marginal farmers in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana who have achieved tremendous success by grafting as many as 15 to 24 varieties of mangoes on a single tree! This progressive ideology of using grafting technology to tide over the off season – on season problem associated with the mango crop has seen the income of the farmers grow substantially. Prospective buyers from various parts of India come to purchase these high-quality mangoes.
Rasalu mango makes its appearance in the months of April, May and June. The first green mangoes can be used to make pickles while the mangoes plucked in mid-May are ideal for juice, milkshake, lassi and dried candy.
Rasalu is lemon yellow in colour, with a heady aroma and fibrous pulp. This mango is best had in the traditional way – nip the stalk, squeeze the mango and suck at it gently! This mango is extremely sweet, light on the stomach and juicy.
It has a low shelf life and needs to be consumed quickly. As this mango is extremely soft and delicate, it needs to be handled with care. One can extract almost 1 litre of juice from a pedda rasalu mango that weighs almost 3 kg! It is often frozen to be used later in the year at festivities.
This mango is rich in iron, magnesium, folate and Vitamins B, A, C, K and E. It is indeed difficult to resist this mango once you have had a taste of it. It is highly recommended to try the aam ras prepared from this mango if you are in Nuzividu in the summer season.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
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