Tasted Gir Kesar? The GI-Tagged Mango From Gujarat
Image Credit: Bright saffron coloured Gir Kesar mangoes, Wildjaifarm

The cultural richness and depth of Gujarat have always intrigued outsiders. Gujarat is a cultural gold mine, teeming with colourful celebrations, beautiful wares, and delectable cuisine. Traditional dances like Garba and Dandiya and festivals like the vibrant kite festival of Uttarayan attest to Gujarat's heritage. Not to be forgotten is the tantalising Gujarati thali, which features both sweet and savoury dishes. With the onset of summer, Gir of Gujarat takes on a saffron hue, thanks to one of its unique mango varieties, which even carries the GI label. It's the rarest and most desirable kind of Gir Kesar mango.

Why is it called Kesar?

The Kesar mango, also known as the 'Gir Kesar. The Gujarati foothills of Girnar are where this kind is cultivated. The pulp of this mango boasts a striking orange or saffron hue. The name "kesar" comes from this fact. Also referred to as "The Queen of Mango," the Gir Kesar mango is favoured. 

Origin of Gir Kesar

In 1931, in the region of Vanthali, Gir kesar was cultivated by Junagadh Wazir Sale Bhai. A further story says that in the Junagadh Laal Dori farm in the Girnar foothills, nearly 80 grafts were planted. Some sources claim that the name "Kesar" for the mango dates back to 1934. According to legend, "This is Kesar" was first uttered by the Nawab of Junagadh, Muhammad Mahabat Khan III, upon seeing the orange flesh of this mango. Saffron is called kesar in Hindi.

Gir Kesar mangoes, Image Source: Pureorganik.in

Season and price of Gir Kesar

One of the most costly mangoes is the Kesar variant. There is a well-defined window in which Gir Kesar can be harvested and sold as edible. Mangoes of this particular kind typically make it to stores in April and May. Cultivation commences in October, following the monsoon season, and ends in early December, when the crop is harvested at the green mature stage.

Getting the GI tag

In 2011, Gir Kesar became a protected geographical indicator (GI). Mangoes cultivated in this area may now proudly call themselves "Gir Kesar", thanks to the GI label. Kesar is the first agricultural product to come from the state of Gujarat to earn a GI. It is the second mango variety to do so in India, following in the footsteps of the Dasheri mango from Uttar Pradesh. Mango Market Yard in Talala Gir is Gir Kesar's largest souk.

How to know the grading of Gir Kesar?

Only the largest, most consistent, and brightest Gir Kesar mangoes, each weighing in at 300 grammes or more, make the cut as the highest grade option. hey are the undisputed aristocracy. Mangoes from the Gir Kesar variety are picked as extra class when they are big in size, homogeneous hue, and overall brightness. Family class is commonly used to describe the lowest-priced segment of Gir Kesar. These are miniature versions of the originals, with the same delicious flavour. The optimal weight of a mango in this category is around 150 grams.