Let the fruit exploration continue!
I remember reading a book that detailed the story of a dying woman’s last wish to eat one more mangosteen before she died. Naturally, this story piqued my interest in the fruit.
Years later, during my first week in Cambodia, my host bought me a cartoonish purple fruit with a silly little hat of lime green leaves. I had no idea what it was and no clue how to open it. “It’s a mangosteen, of course!” she exclaimed, digging her thumb into the base to pry open the fuchsia exterior. The interior of the mangosteen surprised me completely. Those neon white sections, almost like a monotone little mandarin orange, were perfectly contained within the thick purple shell. This fruit was totally blowing my mind and I hadn’t even tasted it yet.
The texture is as juicy as a ripe peach and the flavor is similar in some ways as well. A mangosteen tastes pure, light, refreshing. Its flavor is a burst of sweet and tart in your mouth, but doesn’t linger, doesn’t bite your tongue, and definitely doesn’t weigh you down. The mangosteen is considered by Chinese medicinal wisdom to be a cooling fruit. This is one reason it is widely known as the queen of fruit, as it is generally eaten after consuming the heating durian, which is known as the king of fruit. Check back because I’ll be posting about durian and the World Durian Festival quite soon.
Lastly, I want to share a little trick I recently learned about mangosteens. When you turn them over, you’ll see a daisy-like purple flower embossed on the base. Count the petals. However many petals you see on this flower is exactly how many sections of juicy white fruit are inside the mangosteen. Neat, huh?