A crescendo of mangoes takes place March through May every year in India. They roll into the markets in small numbers at the start of the season, expensive and aloof; by the time the harvest peaks this month they are all over the place, playfully cheap and ready to be squeezed and inspected by all.
Right now, mango frenzy is in full swing, not least in Mumbai, a city where people know better than anyone how to reincarnate a mango: street vendors across the city start squeezing mango juice for around 20 rupees (about 45 cents, at about 44 rupees to $1); fashionable bars mix mango martinis for around 20 times as much; and restaurants at five-star hotels launch mango minifestivals featuring expensive avant-garde mango curiosities.
Indians have become very fond indeed of a fruit that is absent for so much of the year. (Outside the season many must console themselves with their mothers’ homemade mango pickles.) The first mangoes of the year make newspaper headlines and herald the coming of summer. India has its own heavily processed answer to Coca-Cola in Frooty, a ubiquitous sugary mango-flavored drink (the Coca-Cola Company has retaliated with its own version called Maaza).