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Vikram

mangosteens

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Lifting out my eulogy to mangosteens from the mango thread. As this topic's subhead says, they entirely deserve a thread of their own (also I want to do some nitpicking). Are there other mangosteen maniacs out there apart from me? Any other mangosteen memories? I don't know whether to ask for mangosteen recipes though, because part of me feels that fruit so perfect shouldn't be messed around with.

But I have to say that all thoughts of mangos were banished by when in another vendor's shop we spotted baskets filled with little dark round balls each with their distinctive cap - mangosteens! And really big ones, the best I've ever seen so far. Even my father, who normally bargains like crazy and refuses even the most reasonable offers, turned weak and only put up a minimal resistance when the guy asked us for Rs450/- for a basket of 100.

We did buy some other fruit, but I couldn't care less, because now I'm in mangosteen heaven! I hesitate to say this on a list devoted to mangos, but I have to say that a perfectly ripe mangosteen is perhaps... the most perfect fruit ever. Yes, even better than mangos. They look so gorgeous when you cut them open - the neat white segments in the protective red flesh that surrounds them (which should never be eaten).

And the taste!!!! Its a combination of apricots and peaches and raspberries and mangos and every sweet fruit you can think of, in succulent white flesh. OK, I know I sound raving here, but I've always seen mangosteens as impossibly expensive fruit of which you'd be lucky to get one or two to eat, and that will only serve to whet the appetite. For the first time in my life I'm in a position to eat mangosteens for breakfast, lunch and dinner and that's just what I've been doing!

Vikram


Edited by Vikram (log)

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Now for the nitpicking...

Bague wrote:

I hope you're making Kokum ka sherbet with the peels! Or else it would be a monumental waste.

Just wash and layer the peels and sugar and leave in the sun for a couple of days. The sugar melts and you get a wonderul sherbet (excellent for heat, if you did not know that)

I've heard of this link before and Monica just made it again in the summer soups thread where she referred to kokam as, in parantheses, mangosteens. But is this accurate? The kokam link Monica posted says that its related to the mangosteen tree, but its not the same thing. The only reference book I have with me here in Madras is J.S.Pruthi's Spices And Condiments, one of those cheaply printed and dryly written National Book Trust publications, but which one hopes is fairly accurate and here's what he says on the subject:

Kokam

bot.name: garcinia indica Choisy

Family: Guttiferae

Hindi, Bengali and Punjabi: Kokam; Gujarati: Kokan; Kannada: Murgala; Malayalam: Punampuli; Marathi: Amsol, Katambi, Kokam, Ratamba; Tamil: Murgal

Kokam, also known as the 'Kokam butter tree', 'Brindonia tallow tree' or 'Mangosteen oil tree' should not be confused with 'Mangosteen' (Garcinia Mangostana), another species of the same genus 'Garcinia'.

The link does seem clear, and if I had any doubts I need just look at my fingertips after a mangosteen session and they're lightly stained pink the way they are after I've been handling kokam. But will mangosteen rinds really give me kokum or an as-good equivalent if I dry them?

I haven't tried since I don't suffer from any shortage of kokum or kokum syrup, but perhaps I should try just to see. (BTW, about kokum syrup, I rather want to know how to use it up. Does anyone have good recipes for kokum flavoured drinks? I have had some, but every time I try and make them myself, they just end up tasting medicinal).

The real reason I'm interested in finding the link though is not the kokum, but the mangosteen fruits. If drying mangosteen rinds gives me kokum, then does it work the other way, and do kokum trees have wonderful mangosteen like fruits? I would love this to be true, but I rather wonder, because why hasn't one heard about them in Bombay which is part of a kokam producing region?

Vikram

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somehow i have never eaten a mangosteen. is it native only to southern india?

edit to add answer to my own question:

"The tree was planted in Ceylon about 1800 and in India in 1881. There it succeeds in 4 limited areas–the Nilgiri Hills, the Tinnevelly district of southern Madras, the Kanya-kumani district at the southernmost tip of the Madras peninsula, and in Kerala State in southwestern India. "

from http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/mangosteen.html

and from another site:

"Garania mangostana Mangosteen Fruit

Garcinia hanburyii Gamboge

Garcinia morella Indian Gamboge "

no mention of kokum, though kokum and cambodge are related

http://www.backyardgardener.com/names/latin3.html


Edited by mongo_jones (log)

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I read your note and edited mine. I was under the impression Kokum comes from the mangosteen tree... as that link and various books I have here tell. do you have a camera to take a shot of this wonderfull fruit you are talking about.. so that we can see it


Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Mangosteens grow in Malaysia, and the fruit is prized, but as far as I know, the peel is thrown away.

A really good mangosteen is one of the better fruits around. Overall, though, during my trip to Malaysia last July-August, my favorite fruits were rambutans and bananas. But I figure rambutans don't grow in India, is that right?


Michael aka "Pan

 

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A really good mangosteen is one of the better fruits around. Overall, though, during my trip to Malaysia last July-August, my favorite fruits were rambutans and bananas. But I figure rambutans don't grow in India, is that right?

Those are the hairy red ones, right? You see them occasionally, but I think they're imported from Sri Lanka or Malaysia. Have never had a really earth shaking one, but its probably due to lack of enough opportunity to try,

Vikram

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Yes, rambutan comes from rambut, meaning "hair." But I'll warn you, rambutan export extremely poorly. Eat them when you're on the east coast of Malaysia or somewhere else quite close to where they're growing, and they're in season.


Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan

 

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Guys, If I am not wrong about this, aren't mangosteens illegal to import? I know that if you speak chinese, you may be.....and that's a big may be, able to get them in the grocery stores in Queens. Does anyone here know why it's illegal?


Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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i don't do well with hairy fruit. also fruit with pulpy tumorous flesh. doubtless some childhood trauma that only recovered memory therapy can resolve.

speaking of offensive fruits: i have relatives visiting from singapore and we were discussing kathal (green jackfruit) and durian. my uncle eats both and in his words "durian is 10 times more smelly than jackfruit--it has a genuinely offensive smell". it is apparently sold in singaporean grocery stores wrapped in layers of plastic and chilled to kill the odor in the store.

and now i must take said relatives to see the rockies.

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Guys, If I am not wrong about this, aren't mangosteens illegal to import? I know that if you speak chinese, you may be.....and that's a big may be, able to get them in the grocery stores in Queens. Does anyone here know why it's illegal?

There was an article in the NYTimes about them sometime within the past year or so, and the assertion was made that they are banned because they harbor pest beasts that could do damage to US fruit crops.

Sounds like all the reason anybody sane should need to support irradiation. Blast the beasts and bring me my mangosteens!


Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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I have been trying to find a good pic of an open mangosteen on the Net, but have found nothing that really does them justice. Even the Food Thesaurus, normally infallible, lets me down here. Did find this article though, which gives an idea of the praises and cravings mangosteens bring on. I'm particularly impressed by the fact that David Karp, the Fruit Detective guy rates them so highly:

http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_26/findingaforbidden.html

Vikram

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:wacko: Well, well, well,

Now I'm totally confused - I had mangosteen sherbet - and ate the mongosteen fruit - and thought is was kokum...

Vikram when I was in Bombay they were available at the Dadar market...And regularly, since the parents swore it was good for our liver and made us eat a lot of them...

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Does anyone have good recipes for kokum flavoured drinks? I have had some, but every time I try and make them myself, they just end up tasting medicinal).

Have you tried making Sol Kadi with it? The Konkani husband gets the same look everytime the name 'Sol Kadi' is mentioned that I get when any Palakkad food is mentioned. Basically you need to grate a coconut and grind it to a paste. Then add some water to the coconut paste and boil it on a low-medium flame for 304 minutes. Then strain and squeeze the mixture to obtain a thinnish coconut milk. Combine the kokum syrup (which ideally according to my mom-in-law should be freshly prepared with kokum peels. Strangely, she insists I store kokum in peels form and not in syrup form) and the coconut milk. Add some coarsely ground ginger, garlic, jeera (cumin) and green chillies and salt and sugar as per taste. Its consumed (I believe) both as an appetizer drink and as a kadhi to be poured over plain white rice. Dont forget a lil chopped coriander garnish.

Cheers

Seema

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QUOTE (Bond Girl @ Jun 9 2004, 09:36 AM)

Guys, If I am not wrong about this, aren't mangosteens illegal to import? I know that if you speak chinese, you may be.....and that's a big may be, able to get them in the grocery stores in Queens. Does anyone here know why it's illegal? 

There was an article in the NYTimes about them sometime within the past year or so, and the assertion was made that they are banned because they harbor pest beasts that could do damage to US fruit crops.

Sounds like all the reason anybody sane should need to support irradiation. Blast the beasts and bring me my mangosteens!

well, for once somebody is doing a good job of smuggling, then, over here on the west coast. crates of them are currently available at a local grocer for only $2.49 a pound. unfortunately, they are shipped on ice and possess all the charm of any frozen, and then thawed fruit.

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Yes, the ones available here aren't very good, even those obtained at chinese grocers. I once led a huge bag of them from Indonesia, but they end up spoiling in my fridge.


Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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Will post a pic of mangosteens if I can get to the night market evening to buy some. They're in season at the moment in Malaysia and costs about RM3 (US$0.75) a kg :biggrin:.

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this looks like a mangosteen photographed from the other perspective...

still not too clear :wacko:

Don't we have a botanist lurking around?? :laugh:

alas v.gautam seems to have abandoned us completely

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this looks like a mangosteen photographed from the other perspective...

still not too clear :wacko:

Don't we have a botanist lurking around?? :laugh:

dashed amateur i'm afraid! :biggrin:

ok bague25 -was this what you ate?

i have the pruthi book too and from his and others descriptions,the kokum fruit is"2.5-3.75cm dia. dark purple when ripe,enclosing 5 to 8 large seeds.when freshly harvested the fruits are reddish green and turn red purple in a day or two.the fruit has an agreeable flavour and a sweetish acidic taste"

obviously edible but no mangosteen that!

pictures of freshkokum? seem a bit scarce. :hmmm:sort of similar

mangosteen rind does seem to have medicinal value for a number of nasty conditions! :wink:

edited to add pic of squash bottle and apologies for posting purdue link again-gooooogle fatigue!


Edited by gingerly (log)

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I've heard that you can buy decent ones in Vancouver markets, but don't know since I haven't tried them. Sadly, they are in many ways an unhappy habit to form because they are so hard to get in many parts of the world. When I lived in Hong Kong, they were my fruit of choice. Also widely availble in the Philippines, where I also lived for several years.

They are one of the most beautiful of fruits. Deep purple rind, which you open to find snow-white cloves bursting with sweet/sour fruity goodness.

I think that this is one of the prettiest photos I've found of mangosteen/mangostine.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Actually, if you do as instructed and click on the image, it takes you through a wonderful series of photos, a travelogue of Bali.

There are many gorgeous images there, including several of foods, such as this one showing durian, salak, and rambutan. (Note the deep purple of the mangosteens peeking out.)


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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