Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mangosteens in the Snow

I seem to be in Canada, or somewhere of that sort, so I will have to promise to add photos as soon as I can (ETA: here they are!), but I just cannot wait to tell you about the mangosteens I have been eating every day since I found them. These exquisitely juicy little segmented globes are no relation to the mango, or to anything else I've ever seen. They look at first very like globe eggplants. The woody outer shell is about half an inch thick. Inside are about ten succulent segments of fruit. They look a bit like lychee, white and translucent, but the flavor is like lime with a little banana and a little floral. Getting them open is the tricky part, because it takes great force to cut through the shell, but ideally, you don't want to scratch or crush the lush little sections inside. Someone must have invented the ideal single-purpose gadget for this; has anyone seen it?
It is funny to be encountering all this tropical lushness under forty "centimetres" of snow, eh?
The Yiddish word for mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) is מאנגוסטאַן (mangustan).
The word in Mandarin Chinese is Dàoniănzi (inverted wick? maybe because that is what the stem looks like?)
I'll eat my hat if Sweetnicks has seen one of these!

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7 Comments:

Blogger Kalyn said...

I have heard that the juice is supposed to be highly nutritious, but never seen the plant or tasted them. Do give us some photos of the fruit!

10:23 PM  
Blogger the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

Here they are! I will have to write more about these in a subsequent post, but it is indeed said that if you don't desire mangosteens, your condition is hopeless.

12:00 AM  
Anonymous Nomi said...

I found a large (e.g. 20 cm) fine-tooth serrated knife to be the only way to open a mangosteen comfortably. I found going around twice better than trying to saw all the way through that thick husk at once.

20 cm is about 8 inches.

Is that a custard apple behind the mangosteen in the picture?

1:46 PM  
Anonymous nomi said...

Ah no--it's the yellow dragon fruit, isn't it?

12:02 AM  
Blogger the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

nomi, yes, it is a yellow dragon fruit, and it was lavishly delicious. I will post something about it soon.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Laurie Constantino said...

So mangosteens are fruit that is eaten raw? Or do you cook them? At what kind of store do you find them? Can you tell you've piqued my curiosity?? So many questions!

3:31 AM  
Blogger the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

laurie,

You definitely eat them raw. They have a wonderful vibrant but delicate flavor. I guess it might be possible to cook them, but my guess is they are much better raw. You can get them in some fruit stores in some Asian neighborhoods. They are still pretty difficult to find in the US (and still pretty pricey if you find them) because they were illegal until just about a year ago.

9:46 AM  

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