July 23, 2016

By: Jane Lear

Some people do not eat pizza because of the gluten. Or cheese. Or carbs. Or fat. Or nitrites in hard-to-resist toppings like sausage or pepperoni. Now, it seems we should have been more concerned about the sturdy, grease-repellent box that contains the pie itself.

On Dec. 31, the FDA announced that it was revoking its previously approved food additive regulation for use of three long-chain perfluorinated compounds, which are resistant to oil and grease, in response to a Food Additive Petition filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Breast Cancer Fund, the Center for Environmental Health, the Center for Food Safety, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Children’s Environmental Health Network, Clean Water Action, the Environmental Working Group, and Improving Kids’ Environment.

“Although it appears that manufacturers generally have stopped using these products [chemicals], FDA’s action means that any continued use of the PFCs covered by the regulation is no longer permitted,” the federal agency said in a statement about its final rule (81 Fed. Reg. 5), which went into effect on Jan. 4, when it was published in the Federal Register.

This is welcome news, although idioms such as “Too little, too late” and “Shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted” come to mind.

“The FDA’s belated action comes more than a decade after EWG and other advocates sounded alarms and five years after U.S. chemical companies stopped making the chemicals. It does nothing to prevent food processors and packagers from using almost 100 related chemicals that may also be hazardous,” said a Jan. 4 statement issued by the Environmental Working Group. According to EWG President Ken Cook, “Industrial chemicals that pollute people's blood clearly have no place in food packaging, but it’s taken the FDA more than 10 years to figure that out, and it’s banning only three chemicals that aren't even made any more.”

I’m not a knee-jerk FDA basher; the federal agency has been beleaguered for years. But yikes.

According to the Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs, SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association, which represents BASF and other companies that have made long-chain perfluorinated chemicals similar to those covered by the FDA’s rule, said the chemicals having their allowable uses revoked by the FDA are no longer used as food-contact substances. Because PFCs are stable and highly repellent to liquids, however, they’re still valued in other countries for use in textiles and other products. “Environment agencies are nervous about PFC production, use, and export elsewhere in the world,” read a 2012 briefing from Chemical Watch: Global Risk & Regulation News. “Meanwhile, little to no information is available on the toxicity of new shorter-chain compounds billed as greener alternatives.”

Interestingly, PFCs aren’t mentioned in an otherwise enlightening 2011 piece on pizza box technology in The Atlantic. “In the traditional story of the pizza box, Tom Monaghan's pizza empire, Domino's, developed the corrugated box in the early 1960s, marking a major advance in pizza technology,” wrote Alexis Madrigal. “These wonder boxes could be stacked. They had vents. All around, the flat-packed, foldable corrugated pizza box was one of those small inventions that seem almost inevitable after someone comes up with it.”

When my husband and I decided to trim our food budget by eliminating take-out meals and cooking more at home, I must admit that pizza was the most difficult thing to give up. The family-owned pizzeria in our neighborhood turned out old-school brick-oven pies with a crisp, thin crust and fresh-tasting tomato sauce, and we occasionally gave in to temptation—at least until the place vanished without any warning last summer. I feel mournful every time I walk down the block.

The upshot, though, is that we’ve been forced into making our own pizza, and it’s become a solid player in our culinary repertoire. Many supermarkets and specialty stores carry fresh or frozen pizza dough, and flour tortillas, first toasted directly on a gas or electric burner, are a speedy substitute.

But our pizza dough of choice is homemade and based on that of Arizona chef Chris Bianco, whose Pizzeria Bianco, in Phoenix and now Tucson, has achieved genuine cult status. What is so captivating about a good pizza crust is that it’s not simply a vehicle for cheese. Instead, it enhances the toppings, and the toppings return the favor. Happily, the dough can be frozen for a month; simply thaw it in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before shaping.

Bianco makes some of the best pizza on the planet, and I’ll never forget a master class he gave to the food editors at Gourmet. His pizzas are casual and rustic but never sloppy. Below are a few of his tips and tricks for a delicious, foolproof pie.

A wet dough equals a crisp crust. It may seem counterintuitive, but if the dough feels wetter than what you’re used to, it’s probably perfect. If you work the dough by hand, it’s impossible to over-knead, which results in a tough crust.

Easy does it. After the dough has risen until it’s doubled in bulk, don’t punch it down, as you would a bread dough. Keeping some of the air in the dough will give the crust its characteristic bubbly, blistered texture. This dough is soft, pliable, and a pleasure to work with, so flour your hands lightly yet thoroughly and gradually stretch the dough without compressing it.

The weight of the dough will do most of the work. Simply hold the mass of dough by the edge and let it hang perpendicular to the work surface, with the bottom touching the surface. Turn the dough with both hands, like a steering wheel, just allowing it to graze the work surface as you go. If it’s difficult to stretch, it likely wasn’t proofed enough, but don’t despair. Just leave the round smaller and pull the edges out as much as possible after you top the pie. Bianco doesn’t advise using a rolling pin, by the way. The dough has worked hard to leaven and get that cell structure, he explained. “Don’t press everything that’s good out of the dough.”

Two simple tools make life easy. A pizza stone is the key to delightfully chewy, blistered edges and a bottom crust that’s crisp all the way across. If you have a gas stove, put it on the floor of the oven; if you have an electric stove, put it on the bottom rack. Turn on the oven an hour before you plan to put the pizza in; it will take that long to properly heat the stone. A floured baker’s peel and a smooth thrust-and-release motion (it’s all in the wrist) make transferring a pie on and off a hot stone no big deal. You can find both tools at cookware shops or online sources.

Less is more. Distribute toppings with a light hand, so you don’t overload the dough. Bianco always recommends assembling the toppings in a balanced way, so that they cook evenly or melt properly and don’t become too soupy or dry. If using fresh herbs such as basil or oregano, put them on after the pizza comes out of the oven. The heat will cause their fragrance to bloom, but the leaves won’t blacken. You can do the same thing with a tangle of watercress or arugula—an easy way to sneak fresh greens into a meal without making a salad.

When it comes to toppings, let seasonality and the contents of your refrigerator (not to mention your imagination) be your guide. This time of year, I tend to gravitate to classic toppings—mushroom, sausage, and onion, for instance—but I wouldn’t quarrel with kale, sweet potato, and red onion. And to my mind, a white pie skim-coated with buttery, garlicky mashed potatoes and gilded with a fried egg is one of the world’s great Sunday-night suppers.

Come spring, I’ll take advantage of green garlic and onions, and by the time summer rolls around, I’ll be hungry for the utter perfection of pizza Margherita, created, in case you were wondering, in honor of the Italian queen Margherita’s visit to Naples in the late 19th century. The red of the tomato, the white of the mozzarella, and the verdant green of the basil were emblematic of the relatively new tricolor Italian flag. If company’s coming, I might make this sophisticated eggplant pizza, courtesy of a Gourmet reader. In other words, it’s all good.

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July 23, 2016


Blood contains yellow color plasma (made up of proteins, electrolytes, nutrients) and it constitutes 55 percent of the blood. The red blood cells carry oxygen and nutrients to body parts and white blood cells help to fight infections. Platelets are necessary for blood clotting. The body should produce balanced volume of blood, not too viscous or sticky. The bone marrow produces the red blood cells and insignificant intake of iron can cause anemia that depletes the bone marrow. The problem of iron deficiency can effect hemoglobin production. The body has a system to recycle excess iron and use it later but still a number of people taking supplements of iron suffer from deficiency. This can happen because the body is suffering from blood loss. The problems of internal ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding can cause anemia in people. Alcoholics suffer from esophageal bleeding. One can adopt alternatives such as ayurvedic cure for blood loss anemia.

The causes for iron deficiency include impaired absorption of the mineral by the body which happens mostly due to intestinal diseases. Intestinal infections and craving for non-food substances in some people are symptoms of iron deficiency. There are certain surgical procedures that impair the ability of the digestive tract to absorb iron. Ayurvedic cure for low iron levels are effective in such conditions when the body is not getting benefit from other supplements of iron. Feroplex capsule is ayurvedic cure for blood loss anemia that contains iron prepared through ayurvedic methods, where the compounds of iron can be easily absorbed into the digestive tract.

Some people suffer from poor iron absorption due to the side effects of therapies. The exposure to chemotherapies and radiations can reduce the property of bone marrow to produce red blood cells and this can cause extreme fatigue in people. Medication for anti-seizures, immune suppression, anti-clotting and antiarrhythmic medicines enhances the risk of anemia. Overgrowth of intestinal infections can cause anemia as the body fails to absorb nutrients as desired.

Even minor anemia reduces endurance. It impairs growth, motor development, decreases alertness and shortens attention span. Regular intake of ayurvedic cure for low iron levels is useful in such situations.

There are other conditions where the person may suffer from vitamin B12 deficiencies and this can cause deficiency which creates abnormally large red blood cells of short lifespan. These deficiencies are also responsible for neurological problems. Ayurvedic cure for low iron levels helps in getting rid of infections and curing anemia in a safe way.

A number of people who suffer from anemia have a diet low in iron e.g. processed foods and food low in vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause anemia. There are certain other foods which contain iron but the body is unable to absorb it from these food sources such as green vegetables and beans. Any kind of critical illness or chronic illnesses, which causes blood loss can cause anemia and the problem of monthly flow in women is also linked to anemia which can be prevented by taking ayurvedic cure for blood loss anemia.

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July 21, 2016


The brownies are deliciously sweet and chewy, making them a perfect snack or even a fantastic dessert.


  • 150 grams of melted unsalted butter
  • 150 grams of brown sugar
  • 65 grams of cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 75 grams of flour
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract,
  • 1 egg
  • 100 grams of chopped milk duds


Preheat your oven to 165ºc and prepare a twenty centimetre square dish by lightly greasing it.

Mix the sugar, egg, vanilla extract, salt and melted butter in a large bowl until well combined. Fold in the cocoa powder, flour and chopped milk duds. Pour the batter into the dish and bake for approximately fifteen minutes. If you like your brownies to be deliciously fudgy fifteen minutes will suffice, but if you want wonderfully chewy brownies you may want to give them a little longer in the oven.

If you want pretty perfect squares, you will need your brownies to go completely cool before you cut them. Otherwise, dig in when they are messily hot and delicious.


While these brownies are deliciously yummy, if you are making them for a special occasion you may want to add a little decoration. Once you cut your brownies into perfect squares, you can drizzle with a little melted chocolate. White chocolate makes a perfect contrast to the rich brown colour, but you can decorate according to your preferences. You could also scatter Milk Duds across the melted chocolate for an even yummier finish.

Serving Suggestions:

Your brownies are delicious with a cup of coffee or even a cool glass of milk. However, they can also be used in several delicious ways. If you want to make an extravagantly rich dessert, serve your brownies with a good quality vanilla ice cream and drizzled with a toffee sauce. This can be made with 100 grams of sugar, 100 grams of butter, a teaspoon of vanilla extract and 100 millilitres of double cream. All you need to do is melt the butter and sugar together, heating until it becomes a golden brown colour. Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir in the vanilla and cream until the mixture is rich and thick. This is especially delicious when the brownies and sauce are still warm, mixing with the wonderfully cold ice cream.

You can even use the brownies as a base for a decadent sundae. Layer your sundae glasses with pieces of brownie, chocolate and vanilla ice cream, topping with toffee sauce. Sprinkle the top with whipped cream and more Milk Duds.

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July 21, 2016


Raspberries are one of the most loved fruits around the world. These brightly colored, fleshy and juicy fruits also find an immovable place in a variety of recipes, jams, tarts, jellies and sauces, apart from their consumption as a fruit. It is said that eatables containing good nutrients do not taste well. In case of raspberries, this axiom stays adequately contrary. Apart from having a superb taste, these fruits also render a hoard of nutrients to the human body upon their consumption.

One of the common facts associated with the raspberry fruits are that it perishes quite easily in a short period of time, after it has been plucked from the plant. Under these conditions, care has to be taken to prepare an alternative using the same fruit. This substitute is now rendered in the form of raspberry juices, concentrates and capsules. These inherit the same nutrients, which the original fruit contained and comprise of a good amount of shelf life.

You could drink theraspberry juice with utter contentment, but for some sensitive-tongued individuals, it does not offers good choice of consumption. Under this condition, you could get yourself acquainted with raspberry capsules, also known as raspberry ketones. These are as good as the fruit itself and serve a variety of functions in the body such as:

  • Help to reduce extra inches off the body: The most enthralling and enchanting application of raspberry capsules are that they help to reduce those extra kilos from your body. If you want to reduce your body weight and keep your body in shape, this remedy is quite beneficial for you.
  • Protects the skin: The consumption of raspberry fruits helps to protect the skin from harmful radiations of the sun and also helps to reduce the wrinkles of the skin. This purpose is also served by the ketones, which help to reduce the age spots from the skin and sun tanning.
  • Helps the vision of eyes: Raspberry capsules are said to be a good solution to various eye-related problems. These help in reducing macular degeneration that occurs due to age and retards the vision of the eyes. These medicinal capsules help to prevent and also cure the macular degeneration and other eye problems.
  • Suppress the infections and cancer-causing elements: With the help of various antioxidants and minerals such as Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Vitamin E that are present in bulk, raspberry capsules help to enhance the ability of the body to fight the diseases. It also retards the ability of free radicals, so that your body does not encounter any sort of cancer.
  • Enhances the bone and tissue health: The raspberry ketones help to boost the bone and muscle health and render a strong skeletal and muscular system.

On reading these properties of raspberry ketones, we could well believe the fact that raspberry capsules are utterly good for the health. Consume these healthy substitutes for the fruits in a stipulated manner and wash away any chances of being unhealthy.

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July 21, 2016


The mango originated in Southeast Asia where it has been grown for over 4,000 years. Over the years mango groves have spread to many parts of the tropical and sub-tropical world, where the climate allows the mango to grow best.Mango trees are evergreens that will grow to 60 feet tall. The mango tree will fruit 4 to 6 years after planting. Mango trees require hot, dry periods to set and produce a good crop. Most of the mangos sold in the United States are imported from Mexico, Haiti, the Caribbean and South America. Today there are over 1,000 different varieties of mangos throughout the world.

Vitamin Content: Mango is rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Vitamin C content is more in raw mango as compared to that in ripe mango. It also has traces of Vitamin E, Vitamin B and Vitamin K.

The dulcet, juicy insides of the mango pack a nutritional punch. Its characteristic orange color is a clue to its storehouse of beta carotene (Vitamin A). Ripe mangos hold the highest levels of beta carotene, while green mangos are higher in Vitamin C. These antioxidant carotenoids are known for their protective power against certain cancers. Mangos also supply ample potassium, making them ideal for hypertensive patients or anyone looking to replenish energy after physical activity.

Mangoes are high in antioxidants, low in carbohydrates (although they are about 15% sugar – but good sugar!) and like other yellow/orange fruit such as pumpkin and carrot, they are an excellent source of beta-carotene (Vitamin A). They also contain Vitamin E and selenium which help protect against heart disease and cancer. You can obtain 40% of your daily fibre intake from a mango.

We all know the importance of fiber in our diets. If you are eating your mango-a-day, irregularity is not a problem for you and so we'll spare the gruesome details regarding constipation, piles and spastic colon. Research has shown that dietary fiber has a protective effect against degenerative diseases, especially with regards to the heart; may help prevent certain types of cancer, as well as lowering blood cholesterol levels.

The nutritional value of mango makes it good for weight gain, eye disorders, hair loss, heat stroke, prickly heat, diabetes, bacterial infections, sinusitis, piles, indigestion, constipation, morning sickness, diarrhea, dysentery, scurvy, spleen enlargement, liver disorders, menstrual disorders, leucorrhea, and vaginitis.

Mango, being high in calories and carbohydrates, is good for those who are trying to gain weight. The phenolic compound found in mangoes has been found to have powerful antioxidant and anticancer properties. Being high in iron, mango is said to be very good for pregnant women as well as for people suffering from anemia. Mango is believed to be effective in relieving clogged pores of the skin.

Mangoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals essential for the human body. It is an affordable and seasonal fruit. In India mangoes are grown widely in the southern belt. 'Alphonso' variety of mango which is exported world wide is cultivated in 'Ratnagiri' in the southern part of India. Mangoes can be eaten both raw and ripe. Raw mangoes have a sharp sour taste, while the ripe mangoes are juicy and sweet to eat. The fragrance of ripe mangoes tingles ones taste buds.

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July 21, 2016


Amla also know as amalaki, dhatriphala and in Sanskrit and Emblica officinalis scientifically, is the most widely used herb in the ayurvedic system of medicine. it maintains balance amongst three Doshas of wind, bile and phelgm (Vayu, Pitta and Cough) and effectively controls digestive problems, strengthens heart, builds up and sustains defence mechanism, improves eye sight, imparts a anatural glow to hair and body and a store house of Vitamin C.
The English name of amla: Indian gooseberry, denotes that it is indigenous to India. Though all parts of the tree have medicinal value, it is the fruit which constitutes the main drug. Charaka has specifically mentioned it as a great rasayana that helps protect people from disease and keeps away the manifestations of premature ageing.

Amla fruit is acrid, cooling, refrigerant, diuretic, laxative, alexeteric, antipyretic, aphrodisiac alterant, tonic and trichogeneous. It is the richest natural source of Vitamin C. 100 gm. of Amla contains about 700 mg. of vitamin C, which is thirty times the amount found in oranges.In adition to Vitamin C, it also contains calcium, iron, protein, garlic and tannic acids, sugar, phosphorus, carbohydrates etc. The juice of fresh amla fruit is given as tonic, diuretic and anti-bilious remedy. It is also helpful in burning sensation, over thirst, dyspepsia and other complaints of digestive system.

Amla Health Benefits:

The powder of the dried amla fruit is an effective remedy of hyperacidity, ulcers and blood impurities. It is also used both internally and externally as a decoction and paste. Some of the common uses of amla fruit are as under:

Amla strengthens the body, expel toxins from the body and improves defense mechanism of the body.

It is an essential vitamin to improve eye sight

Weakness of body, heart and mind shall be dispelled by taking frsh amla juice in betwen meals.

Massaging the head with amla oil, induces sound sleep and is good for hair. prevents premature graying of hair.

Wash eyes daily, in the morning with amla water, soaked in water and drink the water to improve the eyesight and remove constipation.

Insert 2-4 amla juice drops into each nostril to cure bleeding for nose.

Regulates Blood Sugar

Very Powerful anti-inflammatory herb.

A wonderful antioxidant and a natural Source of Vitamin C. Amla helps scavenge free radicals.

Amla is powerful food for the brain.

Studies show that Amla helps lower cholesterol

Amla also helps maintain the functioning of the liver

Increases Hemoglobin, Red blood cell count

Useful for Cough, Bronchitis, Asthma

Amla cleanses the mouth, strengthens the teeth

Its decoction is used in hyperacidity and with honey as an anthelmintic. The presence of Amla resulted in an enhanced cell survival, decreased free radical production and higher antioxidant levels similar to that of control cells.

There are various classic ayurvedic preparations, such as chyawanprash in which amla is used as a chief ingredient. It help improve intelligence and memory power. Triphala and Brahmrasayana are other classic medicine in which amla is being used since time immemorial.

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April 4, 2016

PlantOGram will be seen at the 23rd Annual Race to Erase MS Gala that will take place on April 15th at the Beverly Hilton on Wilshire Blvd Beverly Hills.


nancy-davis.jpgThe Race to Erase Ms was founded by Nancy Davis in 1993 an organization whose primary focus is to raise funds for the most cutting edge aggressive and promising research in an effort to find a cure for MS.

Also in 1993, Nancy created the Race to Erase MS event – an intimate ski getaway weekend in Aspen, Colorado – that pulled in over $1.3 million for the Foundation. Since its inception, the Race to Erase MS has grown into a spectacular celebrity gala benefit held annually. Over the years she has gained the support of many key individuals in the fashion and entertainment worlds, including Tommy Hilfiger who has a sister living with MS. The annual Race to Erase MS event has raised over $35 million for multiple sclerosis research.

PlantOGram will be providing beautiful gift cards for the Gala's gift bags, beautifully bound auction books for silent auction will be placed on every table making the bidding and gala a success. A Limited Edition Race To Erase Ms Barbados Cherry tree which is also race to erase barbados cherryincluded in all three Orchards can be purchased here. 20% of all proceeds will go to the Race to Erase MS organization which will help fund to find a cure for this disease.

Three lucky winners will be able to have one of a kind orchards that were hand cultivated by CEO Mitesh Popat. " A Gift shouldn't be something that you keep for a couple of days or weeks and then discard. A gift should be something that is sustainable, Eco-friendly, healthy and last for several generations. That's why I created PlantOGram. It is the Only gift that will keep on giving your recipient healthy, delicious, juicy fruit for years to come."

The Orchards that will be in the Silent Auction are as listed:

Emperor's Orchard 1.jpg

The Emperor's Orchard featuring an Avocado, Barbados Cherry, Miracle Fruit (as seen on the Hallmark Channel), Jambolan, Kesar and a Michelia Alba TreeTreasures of the far east orchard.jpg

Treasures of the Far East Orchard featuring a Guava, Barbados Cherry, Soursop, Sugar Apple, Maha Chanook and a Lychee Tree.

eclectic gems orchard.jpg

Eclectic Gems Orchard featuring the Sapodilla, Barbados Cherry, Mulberry, Pomegranate, Alphonso Mango and a Persimmon Tree.

100% of all proceeds from the silent auction will go to Race to Erase MS Benefits in finding a cure for this disease.

Click Here Join the Virtual Race and Support today!

Photos from the 2015 Gala!

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April 4, 2016

     Looking for a tree that will help you live longer? We have just the right one for you. Trees clean the air that we breathe, provide oxygen we need to live, and most of all, food that we consume like fruits. Here at Plantogram, we strive to provide you and your loved ones with the best fruits that grow from our trees. Fruits play a very important role in your diet by keeping your body healthy. Fruits can protect your body from diseases such as heart disease, chronic disease, high blood pressure, and certain cancers. Just name the fruit you or your family enjoy eating such as mangos, apples, berries, or oranges, and we got it! Enjoy life and have fun with assorted fruit trees as a gift. It's not just for eating, it's a token of our expression from Plantogram to you!

To Learn More: http://plantogram.com





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April 4, 2016

      Delicioso Mango! Yes, Mango. Mango is a seasonal fruit tree that grows in the tropics inside many regions of India. Mango trees grow so healthy, tall and is long lived. People—want to ensure that your body takes in a juicy mouthwatering flavored fruit that can prevent you from getting cancer. Mango provides all the essential nutrients and minerals our body needs. Eating mangos prevents breast cancer, prostate cancer, clears the skin, and even builds your immune system. Mangos can grow anywhere including a nursery, and can be stored in an airtight container to freeze for healthy snack later. What is your favorite mango? Here at Plantogram, we offer a variety of Mangos such as Alphonso, Bombay, Carrie Semi-Dwarf, Baptiste Hatian, and more. Sounds Delicious! Plantogram is here to make sure you experience a different taste every time you take a bite. Ready to eat your way to a long healthier life, try our fresh extremely rare mangos here at Plantogram, and you will absolutely want more! 

For more information visit: http://plantogram.com/category/mangos-trees/



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April 4, 2016

Mango cultivar that is considered by many to be one of the best in terms of sweetness and flavor although it does have a short shelf life. It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango rnand is grown mainly in western India. It is in season April through May and the fruit weigh between 150g and 300g rneach. Considered the King of Mangos, small shipments of fruit are imported from India and are available in limited quantities at India grocery stores they sell for $45 per box of 10 mangos. These grafted Alphonso Mango trees are an amazing value, for the price of a few fruit, you can own your very own tree, your own source of high quality rnAlphonso Mangos. These mangos have such a strong aroma you can't hide them in your house, your guests will smell the sweet Mango aroma as soon as they enter your home!



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