1. janet on #

    Whoa. What’s the scale on that? Is it the size of a coconut, or the size of a plum, or what?

  2. Justine on #

    plum scale. They’re the most delicious fruit on the planet. I loves them, I do.

  3. David Moles on #

    Which part do you eat?

  4. Justine on #

    The white bit.

  5. janet on #

    Hmmm. I wonder if they have it at the berkeley bowl.

  6. Justine on #

    From what I’ve read it’s illegal to import them into the US. I think cause of some pest they get. That may have changed.

  7. nalo on #

    I first tasted them because of you, and I still think they’re a bloody weird fruit; course, I have to keep tasting them over and over to reconfirm my opinion.

  8. marrije on #

    thanks for the picture! i have honestly never heard of those things. looks a bit like garlic cloves that hid in a plum… but i’m sure they don’t taste like that at all.

    can you buy them in the us or are you horribly mangosteen-deprived whenever you’re not in australia?

  9. niki on #

    you can get them in the uk – london – china town – i got a whole heap of people onto them but regreted it as then i had to share them around …

  10. Justine on #

    Nalo: Weird!? I think the word you’re looking for is “sublime”.

    Marrije: I’ve never seen them here and have heard that it’s illegal to import them into the US. If they’ve got them in the UK, surely they must have them in the Netherlands, you know, what with you lot having colonised Indonesia way back when. I bet you can find them there.

    Niki: Yes, the last time I experienced mangosteen-induced ecstasy was in London this August. But I’ll be home soon where they are also easily found. Yay!

  11. janet on #

    According to Wikipedia:

    Mangosteen is rarely sold in Western countries other than in some Asian groceries; they are illegal to import into the United States due to fears that they harbor the asian fruit fly which would devastate US crops if it were ever introduced. This barrier to entry may be eliminated in the future as new produce irradiation techniques spread in popularity.

    I wondered about that “other than in some Asian groceries.” After doing a little more digging I have concluded that these putative mangosteens are probably frozen, not fresh, and thus exempt from the ban, but also not, you know, fresh. Mangosteen juice is available in the US, but very expensive ($20 per quart/liter).

  12. marrije on #

    I feel a fieldtrip to the toko (indonesian store) coming on! we’ll have to investigate and report back to you.

    silly us-ians and their mortal fears of pest-beasts.

  13. ron on #

    I remember reading about this fruit and how sublime they were many years ago and going on a big hunt for them in Sydney in the early ’80’s.

    Apparently French colonials picked up a taste for them in Indochina and Lenotre includes them in his version of fruit salad in one of his epic dessert tomes.

    I just had to taste and looked everywhere from Chinatown in the Haymarket to swank eastern suburb greengrocers to extremely ethnic Marrickville and beyond…

    No luck.

    A few people swore that if anyone would have them then De Luca’s in King Street in the city would – they’d been there since the thirties or forties and had fantastic – tho’ expensive! – produce. I went in with high hopes, but all the staff there either looked at me blankly or tried to convince me that a “mangosteen” was just a variety of mango… So disappointing!

    I forget where, but a few years later I came across them in Asian greengrocers in the ‘burbs, and then later they seemed to pop up all over the place.

    I like ’em a lot, but don’t find them sublime. Too subtle for me perhaps? Same with Loquats – pinched some of those off some overhang of someone’s backyard tree the other day. Lush, but very, very delicate.

  14. Ray Davis on #

    As Justine knows, I’ve been obsessively yearning to try (and perhaps live with) the mangosteen since reading Henry Adams’s travel letters — he was disgusted by the avocado (well, if I’d had the avocado described to me as a refreshing dessert fruit, even I might have been taken aback by it), horrified by the durian, liked the mango a lot, but the mangosteen — ah, the mangosteen….

    I was hoping that I might find some in New Zealand during my trip there, but no dice. Southeast Asia and Australia are about it for sources….

  15. Justine on #

    Ron: you need to go to tastebud rejuvenation boot camp. Nothing but bland white food for six weeks, then eat a mangosteen, so you can actually taste its full glory!

    Ray: I recommend Thailand for your first mangosteens. They’re fab there. Plus, you know, Thailand. Though I believe Nalo’s been eating them up in Canada. That might be a cheaper quicker trip.

    As you know Queen Victoria offered a knighthood to anyone who could bring a mangosteen back to her. She died without ever tasting one.

  16. marrije on #

    we tried two most reputable toko’s today trying to find mangosteen(s?), and no luck, alas. saw the most wonderful exotic stuff though, so i’m not complaining, it was a worthwhile trip. my son’s happy too, since he got teng-teng katjang (candy with sesame seeds and peanuts), which he loves. and this in turn made the chinese ladies at the toko very happy – they’re apparently not used to little dutch kids lapping up the indonesian delicacies.
    perhaps i should try the toko’s in the hague, where the indonesian community is a lot larger than here in utrecht. it’s a pity my big assignment in the hague (hurray for government patronage!) is over, because that meant weekly trips over there, and now i’ll have to wait a bit longer.
    but we’re on the case, justine! no sleep till mangosteen!

  17. ron on #

    mangosteens at the movies!

    was channel surfing t’other evening and came across that old ’80’s flick with Debra Winger and Theresa Russell – black widow – and lingered a while. remembered it starting out ok but becoming fairly tedious – and even tho’ it’d been around twenty years since i saw it, my judgement had been sound and it did truly suck.

    however, there was one scene when they end up in hawaii and the gals are on a blanket on a beach and winger has been spraying insecticide all ’round and russell is eating some fruit…

    you can imagine my excitement when i realised she’s eating mangosteens!!! (i need to get out more!)

    only glimpses and they’re never named, but she tells winger she got a taste for them from her second husband.

    any other magic mangosteen movie moments?

  18. Justine on #

    I can’t think of a single mangosteen movie. Wow, what kind of a crap movie buff am I?

  19. Chris on #

    looking at your discussion re: mangosteens and somebody from Holland looking for them in a toko. you prob wont find them there. i live in Holland, and they are available in Amsterdam either at a Thai shop (one just off the Nieuwmarkt in case marije is interested) and at a small grocers on the leidestraat, near leidseplein. They’re pricey, but they’re worth it. Can also get them more cheaply in cans (tins) from a thai shop, but they don’t store so well in a tin. Hope this helps.

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