Dubai: No fruit commands more respect than mangoes. They are called the King of fruits and that perhaps explains why the Pakistan Supermarket in Dubai is giving them treatment that befits a king.
This year the popular store is delivering the much loved delicacy to your doorstep in a Lamborghini. “The king should travel like a king,” reasons Pakistan Supermarket’s managing director Mohammad Jehanzeb.
He not only delivers the order himself but also takes the customers for a short joy ride in the Dh1.2 million supercar. A minimum order of Dh100 is required to avail the offer, but Jahenzeb said he’s not doing this for money.
“The idea is to put a smile on people’s faces and make them feel special,” said the 27-year-old who rolled out his ‘Mangoes in Lamborghini’ campaign on the supermarket’s Facebook page last Thursday.
Since its launch, dozens of Dubai residents have availed the offer. Videos and pictures of them taking the delivery have gone viral on social media.
“The response has been overwhelming. We have been besieged with orders. People in the neighbourhood stare in disbelief when I pull up outside a home with fresh mangoes and then take recipients for a spin,” said Jehanzeb. “The joy ride was essentially meant for kids who have been sequestered at homes because of the coronavirus but adults are equally thrilled at the the prospect of getting behind the wheels of my Lamborghini Huracán. I am happy to oblige them too,” said Jehanzeb. “Each order takes about an hour. We do about 7-8 home deliveries a day but are hoping to ramp up the numbers to 12,” he added.
Barsha South resident Musfir Khawaja said he found the Lamborghini offer too good to be true when he stumbled upon it on Facebook. “I called the supermarket and placed an order of ‘Chaunsa mangoes’ as I am a big fan of them. The price was reasonable and the mangoes turned out to be very succulent,” said the Pakistani expat.
Indian expat Arshad Khan who ordered Sindhri and Anwar Ratol varieties said his children rushed out to take the delivery when they heard the unmistakable roar of the Lamborghni outside their Falcon City villa.
“For someone who hails from Lucknow -- the land of the famous dussheri and landga mangoes -- I was a bit skeptical about the taste of Pakistani mangoes. I ordered them for the sheer experience of seeing them come to my place in a luxury supercar. It was quite exhilirating and I must confess that the mangoes were as delicious as the ones back home,” said Khan.
Fruit of the Mughal Emperors
The Babur Nama considered the first autobiography in Islamic literature written by the Mughal emperor, Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur in the 16th century presents a fascinating narrative of the mango of Hindustan, a reference to the entire sub-continent then.
To quote from the Babur Nama:
“When the mango is good it is really good…, few are first-rate… They are usually plucked unripe and ripened in the house. Unripe, they make excellent condiments (qatiq), are good also to be preserved in syrup. In fact, the mango is the best fruit in Hindustan. Some so praise it as to give it preference over all fruits except musk melon, but such praise outmatches it. It resembles the kardi peach. It is eaten in two ways: one is to squeeze it to a pulp, make a hole in it and suck out the juice. The other is to peel and eat it like a kardi peach. Its tree is elegantly tall, and has leaves resembling the peach trees but the trunk of the tree is ill-looking and ill-shaped.”
Abul Fazl, the court chronicler of Emperor Akbar’s writes in the Ain-i-Akbari, “The mango is unrivalled in colour, smell and taste; and some of the gourmets of Iran and Turan place it above musk melons and grapes. In shape it resembles an apricot or a pear or a melon and weighs even one ser and more. There are green, yellow, red, variegated, sweet and subacid mangoes.
"The tree looks well especially when young; it is larger than a walnut tree, and its leaves resemble those of a willow, but are larger. The new leaves appear soon after the fall of the old ones in autumn, and look green and yellow, orange, peach coloured and bright red. The flower that opens in spring resembles that of the vine, has a good smell and looks very curious. About a month after the leaves have made their appearance, the fruit is sour and used for pickles and preserves.
"It improves the taste of qalyas. If a fruit gets injured whilst on the tree, its good smell will increase. Such mangoes are called koyilas. The fruit is generally taken down when unripe and kept in a particular manner. Mangoes ripened in this manner are much finer. They mostly commence to ripen during summer and are fit to be eaten during the rains; others commence in the rainy season and are ripe in the beginning of winter, the latter are called bhadiyya. Some trees bloom and yield fruit the whole year; but this is rare.
"Others commence to ripen, although they look unripe; they must be quickly taken down, else the sweetness would produce worms. Mangoes are to be found everywhere, in India especially in Bengal, Gujarat, Malwa, Khandesh and the Dekhan. They are rarer in the Punjab where their cultivation has however increased since his Majesty made Lahore his capital.” (Ain-i-Akbari, I, 1595, English translation by Blochmann, 1868,72; Emperor Jahangir in his memoirs the Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri says about the mango, “Of all fruits I am very fond of mangoes…”