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#82 Mangosteen

Posted July 17th, 2008 by kvietgrl · 28 Comments

Since I’ve received fairly good responses for the durian post, I expect an even better response for the Mangosteen (my all time favorite fruit). Yes, Mangosteen. And no, it looks nothing like a mango, neither does it smell like or taste like it! If you don’t know what it is and how delicious it is, then read along. If you do, still read my ramblings on why Asians love the Mangosteen and feel free to add more reasons and tell us your story about this God-sent wonder. ie. Have you ever tasted it? What do you think?

It all started on a sunny day in 1793, Asians from back-in-the-days were walking around along a bright green path. A few weeks ago, they had just discovered a spiky and good-smellin’ fruit that they had decided to name “King of the Fruit Jungle” aka Durian. Now they were hunting for a worthy mate to hail as the “Queen of the Fruit Jungle.” Looking here and there, they were very eager to find a worthy and even tastier match for King Durian. Lo and behold, an old and stubby man yelled, “What’s that purple tiny thing hidden among those leaves over there?”

They observed it on all sides. It was dark purple with canopy-like bundled leaves at the top. The stubby, old man turned the odd-yet-cute looking fruit upside down and wrapped his hands equally on both sides and placed pressure towards the top while opening the fruit with the other fingers at the bottom. Wow, the inside was actually white with six segments. As he took the first bite, his eyes started to light up from tasting the sweet and tangy treat. He had never tasted any fruit as delicious as this purple thing. He slowly closed his eyes and breathed his last because discovering the best tasting fruit in the world was his last wish in life. From then on, Queen Mangosteen was named after the old man who turned out to be a fruit god. People in the village revered this fruit and on special occasions, they would eat it.

Story by Kvietgrl,
Dedicated to her favorite fruit, the Mangosteen.

Enough story-telling, the mangosteen is seasonal and is mainly grown in southeast Asia. There was an import ban in the US that ended in 2007, so now the fruit can be sold in the states but still for a very high price (usually $45 per lb). Asians love the Mangosteen because it is tangy, sweet, and firm when you bite it. You’ll have to try it for yourself. Mangosteens have also been a hot item for health drinks in the US because it contains antioxidants and xanthones. One thing not made up in my story, the Mangosteen, is actually known by Asians to be the Queen of all fruits alongside the Durian as the King (also the yin to the durian’s yang).

Watch the Art of Opening the Mangosteen

Last 5 posts by kvietgrl

Tags: Chinese · Culture · Customs · Environment · Food & Beverage · Fruits · Japanese · Korean · Medicine · People · Vietnamese

28 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Chuong // Jul 17, 2008 at 3:34 am

    wow, i love these, u know in GG, they have these for $6 per pound, so it comes out to around $13 a bag of 12 or 13, itz sooooooo gooood, just thinkin about it makes my mouth all watery and tacky

  • 2 jtran // Jul 17, 2008 at 6:04 am

    this site should really be called Stuff CBC’s Like and then Assume What Other Asians Like.

  • 3 YvesPaul // Jul 17, 2008 at 8:21 am

    I did tasted it, but I thought nothing much of it. My all time favorite fruit would be Sugar-apple or Lychee.

  • 4 Tam // Jul 17, 2008 at 10:08 am

    now you got me craving mangosteen.

    did you know that Odwalla has a mangosteen drink??

  • 5 Toby // Jul 17, 2008 at 10:30 am

    One year when my parents went back to Vietnam they brought so much mangosteens back home. I thought they were OK. My all time favourite fruit is mango! yummy!

  • 6 kvietgrl // Jul 17, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    yeah, i love the naked peach mangosteen, it’s one of my favorites now.

    they were allowed to bring mangosteens back to the US? very tricky =)

  • 7 Amy // Jul 17, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    I’m not a big fan of durians but MANGOSTEENS! Oh my! *drools*

    Did you know you can tell how many segments a mangosteen has BEFORE cracking it open, by looking at the raised little rosette on the bottom of the fruit. That dark purple bit that looks like a flower. The number of petals of this rosette is also the number of white segments inside. Amazing huh? :-)

  • 8 Ed // Jul 18, 2008 at 8:02 am

    I LURV mangosteens!

    In Bali, there’s a saying that supposed to sum up “mainstream” Balinese courting practices, which goes something like “ripe durian, ripe mangosteen” (nasak duren, nasak manggis), meaning that while a man *should* notice and go after an attractive woman (like someone noticing the smell of durian), a woman should not actively pursue a man (like someone not noticing the “smell” of a ripe mangosteen – there shouldn’t be any). How old-fashioned…

  • 9 kvietgrl // Jul 18, 2008 at 11:37 am

    wow cool thanks for all the interesting facts….i know so much more about tropical fruits now =) thank you all readers!

  • 10 SDSteve // Jul 18, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    As a sidenote, the reason durian is known as the king of fruits is because of its yang nature in Chinese medicine, and of course the mangosteen is the most yin or queen of fruits so they balance each other.

    I used to eat durian and mangosteen in the section of Singapore where they sell durian, which is eaten on the spot with a hose on the side to wash off your fingers. Though I love durian, I REALLY love mangosteen!

  • 11 jiamei // Jul 18, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    My favorite fruit in the world!!! AH! I can only get them in Canada. ;____; I haven’t had one in so long too. Now you’ve got me craving mangosteen.

    I could eat them all day. Apples are nothing compared to mangosteen.

  • 12 Natural // Jul 21, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    I Love mangosteens but they don’t really sell the good kinds here…all frozen and stuff…I prefer the fresh ones. I remeber whenever I would return to the Philppines I would it a whole bunch….they’re awesome and they are not related to the mango AT ALL….even though i like mangos too

  • 13 Fox // Jul 23, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    My mom hates Mangosteens or at least the idea of me eating it because the sap from the skin of the fruit is hard to wash off once it gets on my clothes.

  • 14 Teresa // Jul 24, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    I love love love mangosteens… though I recommend only having it fresh… not some imported canned crap. I tried to get my mangosteen fix after having them in Thailand for the first time… I was highly disappointed by the canned mangosteens… and of course I should have figured that’d be the case! Mangosteens oh so yummy- they taste like Skittles!

  • 15 Tim Wu // Jul 24, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    I love mangosteen – though the idea that they are the queen is unknown outside of SE Asia

  • 16 tamachan99 // Jul 25, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    Love this stuff – food the gods! Truly the best fruit ever when it’s fresh. Even the imported stuff (down with irradiated fruit) in the US isn’t as good as what you can get in Asia.

  • 17 steve // Jul 27, 2008 at 6:19 am

    I’m on the streets at lushan and my white friend just bought some of these – I showed him this post on my bberry and he overflowed with joy. Much thanks

  • 18 JenJen // Aug 6, 2008 at 9:03 am

    OMg wtf. Ive never seen or even heard of anything like. I’m so unasian.

  • 19 laura // Sep 1, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    i had this for the first time in china RIGHT AFTER reading this post. except i couldn’t remember what it was called until i came back to this post…thanks for being so educational, lol

  • 20 Nhi // Sep 18, 2008 at 7:01 am

    My all-time favorite fruit. =]

    I made my parents get me some at the fruit market. They only got me one ((‘cos it was so expensive))…I want another one.


  • 21 Auyreon // Sep 22, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    We always ate mangosteens and durian together, as my grandmother always said that as durians are ‘hot’ (热气) and mangosteens are (凉), we had to have them at the same time in order to avoid fevers, sore throats and various other illnesses…

    Ah… I miss my tropical fruits!

  • 22 emo // Nov 7, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    i have never try the fresh mangosteen, but i used to have those mangosteen drinks. you buy the dried mangosteens and then you put them with the water into the pot to boil.

  • 23 emo // Nov 7, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    the mangosteen fruit looks really cute.i really wonder what it taste like. b/c looks so amazing, b/c i was so used 2 seeing the dried ones since i was little. it’s like a big discovery. kind of like u go 2 this old creepy library, then u flipped open one of those dust-covered big hard-covered books at the very back of the library and found this mystery out from the book. u might think tht i am kind of exaggerating. sorry, but i do feel like that. well..may be i am kind of like a picture person sometimes…

  • 24 Anonymous // Aug 6, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    I love these things!!! They’re one of my favorite fruits (I’m like a fruit connoisseur, so I have a lot).

    1. Cherries
    2. Yangmei
    3. Mangosteen

    I have yet to try Durian though…

  • 25 Anonymous // Aug 6, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    At Fox: If they’re perfectly ripe and ready to eat, very little of that red juice should come out

  • 26 #126 Sushi « Stuff Asian People Like - Asian Central // Oct 25, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    [...] Here’s a guide to making Sushi (for the first time) that me and Kvietgrl put together today! It’s been a while since Kvietgrl has exposed the juicier and meatier sides of Asian Culture with #23 Durian and  #82 Mangosteen. [...]

  • 27 Catherine // Dec 3, 2009 at 2:27 am

    I love mangosteen!
    Ahh, whenever I visit Bangkok one of the first things I get at the market is mangosteen~
    It’s so expensive here though. D:

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