The Mangosteen is a tropical fruit native of Indonesia. It now grows all around South East Asia and even South America. According to Wikipedia, its nutritional value does not amount to much, but the lovely flavour more than makes up for it.
I had never seen this fruit before, as apparently is not easily available in Europe.
Its ‘rarity’ on the Western markets fueled a series of folkloric tales about it, my favourite being the one about Queen Victoria offering a large sum of money to anyone who could bring her this fruit. Of course this most probably never happened, but certainly goes to demonstrate how this tropical delicacy always captured the imagination of those who ate it, to the point that this fruit is still known by many as ‘the queen of tropical fruits’.
(Source: this very interesting website).
Once opened, the Mangosteen somehow reminded me of a clementine, with its half moon shaped slices, even though the white parts are apparently more similar to giant pomegranate seeds than citrus segments. Some of these sections contain seeds that should not be eaten, so it is always a good idea to read about how to properly clean this fruit.
Its taste is very light and sweet, almost ‘buttery’, and I can easily imagine how it would adapt to a number of recipes, both sweet and savoury.
So far, I found four desserts ideas, a Thai cake, ice lollies, pannacotta, and even a beef and mangosteen soup.
Now that I know how lucky we are to have easy access to this gorgeous fruit, I will make sure to use it in my recipes as much as possible!