Metro Morning

Toronto is home to world's widest variety of mangos, food writer says

Toronto might just be the best city in the world to grab any mango one desires. One food writer says he doesn't think there's anywhere else in the world with the variety that exists in Canada's largest city.

Suresh Doss says mangos are coming into city from all over the world

International imports have brought at least 15 different types of mangos to Toronto, which are in season from March to August. (Suresh Doss/Twitter)

With warmer temperatures and sunny skies finally arriving in Toronto, summer is so close that you can practically taste it.

But what exactly does summer taste like? For Suresh Doss, it might just be mangos. From mid-March to July and August, these fruits are in season and ripe for consumption.

The food and drink writer — who loves mangos — says the fruit is unparalleled in their different scents and flavours. He has made it his mission to discover as many varieties of the juicy, tropical fruit as he can.

And Toronto might just be the best city in the world to grab any mango one desires.

Mango options seem endless depending on whether you want something sweet or savoury, intense or mild. (Suresh Doss)

"They're coming in from all over," Doss said of the sweet fruit on CBC Radio's Metro Morning. "I don't think there's another city like Toronto that has this many imported varieties."

"We've got guys coming in from like New York and Cleveland into Toronto just to pick up the alphonsos."

Doss told host Matt Galloway that the diversity of Canada's largest city is what brings in the wide variety. International imports have brought at least 15 different types of mangos to Toronto, including Mexican Ataulfos, Peruvians and Jamaicans.

"I think our multiculturalism here is helping with that."

Craving mangos

Doss's passion for mangos goes right back to his hometown of Colombo, Sri Lanka, where it was and remains a popular street food snack.

But when he moved to Toronto as a child and discovered the Ataulfo variety in the supermarkets of Scarborough, he realized one fruit could have so many different flavours and he became obsessed with finding as many different flavours as possible.

That passion has stayed with him ever since. And over the years Doss has tried to spread the mango gospel to anyone who will listen.

"People are like craving these mangos."

If your mango range reaches only as far as "green" or "yellow," you don't know what you're missing, according to Doss. There's the Jaffna mango with its pinkish inside and green exterior, which Doss said he's never seen outside of India. 

If your mango range reaches only as far as "green" or "yellow," you don't know what you're missing, according to one food writer. (Suresh Doss)

The options seem endless depending on whether you want something sweet or savoury, intense or mild, which is why Doss insists mangos are the most versatile of any fruit.

And with April here, Doss says Alphonsos are now available in most downtown stores, but it's the uptown grocers that carry the most varieties. 

If you're looking to grab some tasty mangos to sample, Doss has a few suggestions for where to go in the city. He said Lone Tai Supermarket at Kennedy Road and Lawrence Avenue is his favourite spot, there's Sunny Foodmart near Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue or go for a stroll down Gerrard Street in Little India.

But most importantly, what is Doss's personal favourite? He said he prefers Chaunsac mangos and admitted Kesarsk are "pretty awesome," but adds Alphonsos and Kesars are "the best mangos"

Suresh Doss says Alphonsos are now available in most downtown stores, but it's the uptown grocers that carry the most varieties. (CBC)

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