Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Most of us only know of a few types of Mango and probably all of those are of the one species mangifera indica.
There are however many other species some with excellent tasting fruits and interesting ecological traits.
One of these we first encountered in Depok, Jakarta, is the Kweni mango ( mangifera odorata). A green skinned tart sweet fleshed mango with an aromatic skin.
To taste it's much like any other almost ripe mango so to me it's quite enjoyable as I like both the sweet and the bite of a mango.
But to a mango grower it has a few other benefits. Firstly it flowers intermittently throughout the year and perhaps because of this? Or due to tolerance it is able to withstand higher rainfall areas where Mangifera indica clones thrive but experience excessive fruit drop or total crop failure in wet years.
Near Byron bay, nsw Australia, I met several mango growers who were lamenting the loss of crops and the unpredictability of cropping year to year. The same situation faces growers in the wet tropics area of north Queensland.
I visited Dr. Paul Rechers garden near dorroughby in the Byron hinterlands and saw his thriving kweni tree that the previous season had easily yielded 300+ fruits.
I'd say there is ample need and sufficient anecdotal evidence to support searching for and distributing more widely mango species to expand growing range, test for disease tolerance and introduce new flavours