Mangoes, UP's pride, don't taste as good as before due to freakish weather

 - Sakshi Post

Lucknow, Nov 19 (IANS) That climate change is impacting weather conditions across the globe and triggering natural disasters, we all know quite well. But the fact that it is impacting food and its taste, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, is a little-known truth, strange though it may sound.

To begin with, winters are, at times, colder than usual and at other, much less cold. The summers are hot but the winds, known as ‘loo’ in local parlance, are missing. The rains come and go before and after the designated monsoon period and the onset of spring varies alarmingly too.

This erratic weather pattern is impacting food that is naturally produced and also which is man-made.

For instance, mango, which is known as the pride of Uttar Pradesh, is gradually losing its taste as inclement weather and unseasonal rains have an adverse impact on the king of fruits.

“Unexpected storms in February and March prove devastating for mango crop because this is their flowering season and the flowers, known as ‘baur’, fall off because of strong wind and rains. Mango growers believe that the hot May winds add sweetness to the fruit as they help to ripen it naturally. Now summers remain hot but they are without the ‘loo’ winds and this is taking away the taste from mangoes,” says Insram Ali, president of the Mango Growers Association.

Another local fruit that has almost vanished due to weather changes is ‘phoot’, a fruit that belongs to the musk melon family and is also known as snap melon.

‘Phoot’ a summer delicacy was grown on the sandy banks of rivers in the summer and ripened when hot winds blew across the plains. Since the last one decade, snap melon has not been seen in the markets and cultivators claim that the crop does not ripen due to changing weather.

Besides these fruits that suffer the impact of the changing weather conditions, some manmade delicacies have also taken a hit.

‘Makhan-malai’ in Lucknow has been a much-awaited winter delicacy. Often known as ‘Daulat ki chat’ in Delhi, this mousse-like dessert is made out of milk and is nurtured in morning dew. As the mercury falls, this delicacy gains taste.

Ram Kishore, who sells ‘makhan-malai’ in Chowk area, says, “People have tried making ‘makhan-malai’ using ice to keep the mixture cool, but have never got the desired results. The winter-like outcome is impossible to achieve even if you sacrifice your life. It is the dew that does the trick.”

He laments that since the last three years, there has been reduced dew – mainly due to intense construction activity — and this impacts the taste of ‘makhan-malai’.

Another sweet that is peculiar to Lucknow and is heavily dependent on weather is ‘dhoddhi’ barfi that is made with ‘khoya’ and has a layer of pure ghee on it.

“If winters are not adequately cold, the layer of ghee on top of the barfi melts and the sweet loses its taste. Till a few years ago, we would start making this sweet from Diwali but now we make it only from mid-December,” said Ravi Gupta, whose shop is known for this delicacy.

Prayagraj was once known for its ‘lauki ke lacche’ where strips of bottle gourd would be cooked in sugar syrup and then dried till crisp. This delicacy was sold in summer and is believed to be a coolant.

It is no longer manufactured on a large scale because the summer heat is no longer stable.

“Once the rain sets in, the dish loses its flavor, so now we make it in very small quantities,” said Gopal Babu, known for his expertise in making it.

Interestingly, the fruits and delicacies that are said to be impacted by weather conditions are all sweet. The sour fruits or the savoury dishes don’t seem to be impacted by climate change. Neither the fruit growers nor the sweet makers have an explanation for this strange phenomenon.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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