For me, the sweetest fruit of Bush’s bisit to India is that finally, after 17 years of trying, Indian mangoes will soon be available in the US. Thus far, desis in the US have had to settle for Mexican mangoes, which are neither as sweet nor as juicy as what one can get back in the sub-continent.
While India is the largest producer of mangoes (41% of the world produce), and the US is the largest importer (29% of all imports), there was no convergence between the two. The gainer was Mexico which only produces 5 per cent of the world’s mangoes and has 25 per cent of the mango export market. [Link]
The cause of the decades long mango moratorium was a fear of alien invasion, a (legitimate) concern about nasty creepy crawlies that might infest America’s fecund farmlands. This concern has now been allayed via the miracle of modern science – Indian mangoes will be nuked, neutered and neutralized before they are allowed to immigrate:
Preventing Indian mangoes from entering US supermarkets was the strict Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) conditions imposed by the US. Pests like pulp weevil and fruit fly are alien to US conditions. And the US was never confident about India’s capability to make the harvest pest-free… Several meetings later, the clincher was irradiation, the method to be now adopted to make mangoes pest-free. Earlier, it was limited to vapour treatment and quarantine. [Link]
How sweet it is. M-day is roughly 18 months away and I can hardly wait!