Friday, August 1, 2008
Vernacular Name: Manggis, Mangkhut
Botanical Name: Garcinia mangostana
Specimens From: Thailand
Specimens Weight: 82 gms (average wgt per fruit)
Mangosteen, a very popular tropical fruit with its unique sweet taste, is hard not to love it when you got the chance to taste it. It is believed to originate from the tropical Southeast Asia, Sunda Islands of Indonesia and West Malaysia. It is rare once out of its growing area and remains very expensive when available.
Mangosteen is round, about the size of an apple. The rind is deep reddish purple when ripe and after a few days, to very dark purple. The flesh is white and in several segments, similar to the mandarin/tangerine. Those with more segments, means lesser seeds as the smaller segments do not contain any seed. It is easy to tell, just by counting the number of raised pointed ridges (4 to 8) at the bottom of the fruit. It always corresponds with the number of segments inside.
The seed is brown and somewhat flattened and the flesh will always cling to the seed. The larger seeds are unpalatable to eat but the soft small seeds are edible.
The easiest way or rather, the lazy way to open the mangosteen is to use both your palms to press it. If it is ripe, it can be easily prised open even though the rind looks thick. But take care not to press it too hard as you won't want the purple juice to spill on your clothes. It will leave a permanent stain!
For those who have the chance to try it, almost all of them will like the sweet with slight sourish, juicy, aromatic, refreshing and unforgettable taste. It is easy to love them and crave for more as no acquired taste needed.
Make your own mangosteen juice but it is quite troublesome to do it. You need a sharp knife to separate the flesh from the seed. The large seeds should be discarded but the small soft seeds are alright.
Do it on a flat plate, so as to collect the juice that will spill out. One glass needs about ten small mangosteen. And you may need to add some water to dilute it or it will be too thick and too sweet.
Fruit: Mangosteen; Garcinia mangostana; Clusiaceae.
Other fruit in the same family: False Mangosteen
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