Mangosteen


Wow! The fruit season is back! I just love this time of the year when I can enjoy all kinds of fruits; some of which are not available through out the year. And what an awesome sight it is to see fruits of different shapes and colours being sold all around Kuala Lumpur – mangosteen, durian, rambutan, duku, dokong … just name it!

I really love the mangosteen! Although its name is MANGOsteen, it has no relation to mango. This exotic fruit is also known as ‘The Queen of Tropical Fruits’. It was believed that mangosteen was originated from the Sunda Island and the Moluccas and later on was brought to Thailand and Burma before being planted in other parts of the world.

The exocarp (the outermost layer of the fruit) of juvenile mangosteen first appear very pale green or almost white before its colour changes to a darker shade of green and upon ripening the colour changes to reddish purple and finally to dark purple. One can tell precisely the number of segments of the white edible endocarp (the part that wraps the seed) inside the mangosteen even before opening the fruit. At the bottom end of the fruit, there is a type of flower shaped scar which number of petals is similar to the number of segments (of the white flesh) inside the mangosteen.

The white flesh of mangosteen is very tasty and can be described as sweet, tasty and citrusy with peach flavour and texture. Mangosteen is not only tasty but is also full of vitamins and minerals. Mangosteen is very rich in anti-oxidant which can lower the risk of human diseases. It is also rich in vitamin C, B1, B2, B6, potassium, iron and calcium. Test tube studies proved that mangosteen contains xonthones (anti-cancer effects), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic. The rind of mangosteen can help to stop diarrhea, bladder infections, gonorrhea, skin rashes and cooling effects.

This exotic fruit is very expensive when available outside its tropics. Nowadays we can have mangosteen juice, mangosteen jam, frozen mangosteen and canned mangosteen apart from the fresh fruit. I’ve never heard of  mangosteen juice until Sept 2006 when we saw a huge billboard advertising the juice in Kalamazoo. And when mum pointed at the billboard I was speechless… What? Mangosteen juice? In America?

Anyway I just realised that I’ve never tried mangosteen picking… Mum said that atuk has some mangosteen trees in his orchard but I’ve never been there yet. May be one day I should make a visit to the orchard and try mangosteen picking.

6 thoughts on “Mangosteen

  1. That’s mangosteen…so pure and honest..black outside but pure white inside…but I wonder why some hotels in Malaysia forbid bringing in mangosteen into hotel room. Perhaps the resin/sap from the fruit can stain clothes…I don’t know.

  2. I guess you are right. The resin/sap stains clothes – that is the reason why mum would not let my little brother and sisters eat mangosteen on their own.

  3. Buoh semeta??? I asked mum what is buoh semeta… And the answer is – MANGOSTEEN!!! So tonight I learn a new trengganuspeak word.

  4. Two places bring back memories. Used to follow mom to mangosteen orchard when I was around 5 or 6 years old. While mom climbed the trees to pluck the fruits, I was down on the ground, waiting anxiously for mom to finish the job. For every single fruit plucked, she was paid 1 sen. Kalamazoo was another place. How was it when you visited the place? Those were the old days.

  5. Dear May13,
    Thank you for sharing the story about your mom;I’m sad that she had to work real hard …and for such a small pay.Hope that she is doing well now.
    I think Kalamazoo is a small and sleepy place;anyway we did not spend much time there as we were on our way to New York from Chicago- The Windy City.It was a long journey and we stopped at so many beautiful places.May be it is not fair to compare Kalamazoo to Chicago but Chicago is beautiful.
    Sorry, I can only share the picture of moringa curry with you.

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