Fruit of the Day - Mangosteen

5:09 AM

Around 15 years ago (wow,I feel so old now),I had the chance to play in a Thai soap opera. I was an American tourist travelling in Thailand with my NZ "husband",Matt. While there,my purse was stolen and we were taken to the police station. The whole serial was made around those villages where they have a floating market. We were shopping for fruits and that's where I got to know this unusual fruit,mangosteen.



I like the variety of fruits in Thailand,they're so different from the fruits that I grew up with,the boring apples,plums,pears,etc.So let's see what this fruit about.

Mangosteen
The mangosteen, is a tropical evergreen tree believed to have originated in the Sunda Islands and the Moluccas of Indonesia. The tree grows from 7 to 25 m (20–80 ft) tall. The rind (exocarp) of the edible fruit is deep reddish purple when ripe. Botanically an aril, the fragrant edible flesh can be described as sweet and tangy, citrusy with peach flavor and texture.

Before ripening, the mangosteen shell is fibrous and firm, but becomes soft and easy to pry open when the fruit ripens. To open a mangosteen, the shell is usually scored first with a knife; one holds the fruit in both hands, prying gently along the score with the thumbs until the rind cracks. It is then easy to pull the halves apart along the crack and remove the fruit. Rarely in ripe fruits, the purple exocarp juice may stain skin or fabric.

There is a legend about Queen Victoria offering a reward of 100 pounds sterling to anyone who could deliver to her the fresh fruit. Although this legend can be traced to a 1930 publication by fruit explorer, David Fairchild, it is not substantiated by any known historical document yet is probably responsible for the uncommon designation of mangosteen as the "Queen of Fruit".

Due to ongoing restrictions on imports, mangosteen is not readily available in certain countries. Although available in Australia, for example, they are still rare in the produce sections of grocery stores in North America and Europe. Following export from its natural growing regions in Southeast Asia, the fresh fruit may be available seasonally in some local markets like those of Chinatowns. Mangosteen and its related products, such as juices and nutritional supplements, are legally imported into the United States, which had an import ban until 2007.

Mangosteens are readily available canned and frozen in Western countries. Without fumigation or irradiation as fresh fruit, mangosteens have historically been illegal for importation in commercial volumes into the United States due to fears that they harbor the Asian fruit fly, which would endanger U.S. crops. This situation, however, officially changed on July 23, 2007 when irradiated imports from Thailand were allowed upon USDA approval of irradiation, packing and shipping techniques.[16] Freeze-dried and dehydrated mangosteen arils can also be found..





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