Three hours after his dad’s flight from India had landed, the senior Savani finally materialized, his fingers smelling of, well, me. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials had barred him from carrying his haul of mangoes into this country, and rather than tossing them into the trash as instructed, he ate several pounds of them right there in customs.
The younger Savani, whose father and grandfather were mango growers in Gujarat, India, wasn’t surprised at his dad’s refusal to let those mangoes go to waste. He was smuggling in the family’s Alphonsos—the most prized of 500-plus varieties of me—precisely because they were not allowed in the United States. Alphonsos are so much sweeter, juicier, and more layered and floral in flavor than those you can find in supermarkets here. Indeed, the family has spent the two decades since trying to bring it and other outrageously delicious Indian mangoes into your homes.
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