Australia is home to at least 9 different mango varieties, each with their own flavour profile and unique combination of texture, colour, size and seasonality. With so many varieties, it can be hard to tell the difference. There’s one difference in particular, however, that’s easy to clear up: the difference between Kensington Pride and Bowen Mangoes. Why? Because there isn’t one!
Confusingly, ‘Bowen’ and ‘Bowen Special’ are both alternative names for the Kensington Pride mango variety. A possible reason for so many names lies in the fruit’s history…
Discovered in Bowen
The Kensington Pride variety was first discovered in Bowen, a town in Northern Queensland. In the late 1800s, Bowen was known for its lively horse trade. Traders from the British Army in India were known to arrive in Bowen with mangoes and spices. They would give these as gifts to prominent locals. It’s believed that the Kensington Pride variety developed from one such gift, given to Bowen Harbour and Customs Officer, GF Sandrock.
The Kensington Pride is Born
What followed was a process of selective breeding. The best seed from Sandrock’s original gift was planted by a Mr McDonald. The process was repeated by William Lott, and then again by William’s son Harry Lott. It was on Harry Lott’s property – ‘Kensington’ – that a distinctive new variety was first identified. They named it ‘Kensington Pride.’
What’s in a name?
The Kensington Pride variety proved to be very popular at the Sydney Markets, and production quickly ramped up in the Bowen area. Consumers increasingly associated Kensington Prides with Bowen, and over time the fruit also became known by the names ‘Bowen Mango’ and ‘Bowen Special.’ It’s still grown in Bowen, but also in many other areas, like our Mr KP Mangoes orchards near Darwin.
‘Bowen’, ‘Bowen Special’ and ‘Kensington Pride’ are all names for the same variety of mango
So there you have it: ‘Bowen’, ‘Bowen Special’ and ‘Kensington Pride’ are all names for the same variety of mango! Keep in mind, however, that not all Kensington Pride mangoes are grown by Mr KP Mangoes. To ensure you take home a beautiful quality KP mango that’s naturally sweet, juicy, and bursting with the KP flavour you know and love, keep an eye out for the blue label with the little yellow mango man in a supermarket near you!