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cdh

Mangosteens

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Posted (edited)

The other day at my local Korean supermarket I happened across fresh mangosteens... sold in a bag, @$10/lb... I couldn't resist, and they were in great shape with one or two exceptions.  Where are mangosteens that are legal to sell in the US coming from? I hope these delicious things become more available and less crazily expensive.  But they're worth it...  Can you find them where you are?  

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Edited by cdh (log)
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Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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How wonderful.  I don't think I've ever had one or even seen one.  Is the red casing hard?  Do you have to crack it?   Do they taste like any other fruit at all?  

 

We live in the middle of nowhere outside a small provincial Ontario city.   We don't have a Korean market.  We are probably lucky to have an "Asian" market at all.  

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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

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Posted (edited)

The casing is able to be cut with a knife, with some effort.  I'd say its hardness is just shy of almond shells. Case is fibrous, but not stringy.  You eat the white segments inside.  Taste is unique, texture is sorta grape-like.   It is bright, but not sharp.  Offset by sweetness. I'd not say particularly aromatic. 


Edited by cdh (log)

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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I've never seen a fresh mangosteen in NYC.  Frozen/defrosted, yes, but those are disgusting.  BTW, the purple rind is not usually eaten - put it this way, I've never seen anyone in SE Asia eat the rind.  And better than cutting the rind with a knife, which will invariably cut through and bleed some of the tannic rind juice into the white flesh, it's better to turn the steen upside down (sepal side down), but between your hands and gently crush.  The rind should split open without damaging the internal part.

 

A long time ago, I had read that some farmers tried to grow mangosteen trees in Puerto Rico, but the research I read showed that the trees are very difficult to transplant and the success rate was horrible.  From what I understand, any fruit coming from Thailand or anywhere else in SE asia has to be frozen - it's not allowed to be imported fresh.

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1 hour ago, Darienne said:

How wonderful.  I don't think I've ever had one or even seen one.  Is the red casing hard?  Do you have to crack it?   Do they taste like any other fruit at all?  

 

We live in the middle of nowhere outside a small provincial Ontario city.   We don't have a Korean market.  We are probably lucky to have an "Asian" market at all.  

I've seen them once or twice at Superstore, so there's hope. :)

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59 minutes ago, KennethT said:

I've never seen a fresh mangosteen in NYC. 

 

I  see them all the time, in Chinese markets. Fresh, not frozen.

 

dcarch

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1 minute ago, dcarch said:

 

I  see them all the time, in Chinese markets. Fresh, not frozen.

 

dcarch

Huh. All the ones I've seen in Manhattan Chinatown are like the durian - frozen and defrosted. Which markets have you found them in?

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 

That's not a  good sign.

 

I get them almost year round and they can easily be opened without the use of a knife.

The effort is precision, not strength.  Cutting through just enough to get through the skin without nicking the white segments is the hard part.  Squeezing them makes them crack, but that can squash the segments too... 


Edited by cdh (log)

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, cdh said:

The effort is precision, not strength.  Cutting through just enough to get through the skin without nicking the white segments is the hard part.  Squeezing them makes them crack, but that cab squash the segments too...  

 

I don't squeeze them. When they are really fresh, I can get through the skin with my thumb nail and peel like an orange (although admittedly a little tougher).


Edited by liuzhou (log)

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3 hours ago, KennethT said:

Huh. All the ones I've seen in Manhattan Chinatown are like the durian - frozen and defrosted. Which markets have you found them in?

 

I mostly shop at Flushing. Many stores there have parking.

 

dcarch

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Try an H Mart in Fort Lee, NJ, or the nearby areas (in NJ).

You should be able to find the country of origin on the label of the bag or on the sign at the supermarket.

 

@liuzhou: with all due respect, if you're in China right now, as your location status indicates, it seems like you'd have a better time getting fresh mangosteens than in @cdh's location, Philadelphia.

 

I recall buying these fresh in either Vietnam or Singapore (memory is a little hazy at the moment), and it wasn't terribly difficult to eat them.

 

If you search for "mangosteen in us," there are some interesting results.

 

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/people-and-culture/food/the-plate/2016/05/meet-the-mangosteen/

The article above references mangosteens cultivated in Puerto Rico, and difficulties growing them closer to the US.

 

https://www.freshplaza.com/article/2181747/us-demand-for-mangosteen-strengthens/

The piece above talks about mangosteens being grown in Mexico and Guatemala.

 

https://www.thekitchn.com/mangosteens-52332

This says the import ban on mangosteens was lifted in 2007. Could be my hazy memory again, but that seems to coincide when Kesar and Alphonso mangoes were allowed to be imported into the US.

 


Edited by larrylee added detail (log)
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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, larrylee said:

@liuzhou: with all due respect, if you're in China right now, as your location status indicates, it seems like you'd have a better time getting fresh mangosteens than in @cdh's location, Philadelphia.

 

Of course. I was merely pointing out that the "fresh" mangosteens in the US might not be so "fresh" after all.

 

I'm not only in China right now. I've lived here a quarter of a century.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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As I have learned from a few in this thread, Mangosteens are 'ripe' when the circumference feels soft to the touch/press.  This practice has led me well to find some fantastic beauties this season.  

 

$10 USD/lb is pricey.  Here I am paying $4-5/lb CDN.

 

My trick to open these whether ripe or slightly past (then the skin gets tougher) is to cut off the stem with a tiny bit of the rind as well, then make one big slit across the side and over that top sliced section, and sort of pull it open in 2 halves.  Usually works.

 

 

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