Sunday, August 24, 2008

Freaky Fruit Vol 6: Mangosteens

I have been putting off trying mangosteens because every time I even think the word, it conjures up a large underwater sea creature, something like a lobster crossed with a manatee. And definitely not tasty.

This delay may be the worst thing dyslexia has ever done to me.

Mangosteens = better than any soft fruit I have ever eaten, with the possible exception of "warm from the tree" ripe peaches. They look like, frankly, the tomatoes from Super Mario Brothers (and incidentally, are perfect for throwing at friends). The purple layer is a thick rind, about the consistency of a tough grapefruit rind, and is as bitter as it is pretty.

Inside, there are segments of white fruit, one of which has a pit. And Oh My God. They taste like crack-laced cherries; its just a super-powered flavor. (And incidentally, its been classified as a superfood). I secretly ate three before sharing the fourth with my roomate. Evil glutton that I am.

Here is a link to an article in the NYT on Mangosteens by David Karp, my favorite food writer, discussing the mangosteen's rarity in the states. They are apparently so hard to grow in North America and so tough to import, that they sell for $45 a pound in New York City, and when I have a greenhouse, I will grow a mangosteen tree. And eat them all myself. Mark my words!

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