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Jul 15, 2003 02:03 PM

Fresh Mangosteens

  • t

I was in Montreal over the weekend at an Asian grocer when sitting right there in the produce section was an package of 8 small dark purple-maroon fruits, what I consider the best tasting in the world: Mangosteens. Whenever I am in Asia, I try to eat as many as possible because I have never seen them available in the US. Apparently, the USDA has not cleared Mangosteens for import from Asia and while they have for the Western Hemisphere, the 8-12 year lag beetween fruiting and planting has discouraged commerical production of Mangosteens outside of Asia and Australia. I wanted to know if anyone has every found them fresh in the US or elsewhere in Canada (these were from Thailand, so it seems Canada has cleared them for import).

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  1. I've never seen them anywhere in the US, but had some while in Australia. Please do report back if you find some.

    5 Replies
    1. re: mouse

      Do these go by any other name. There are 2 Asian markets within 12 miles of me and I go to both very often. They have a wonderful variety of fruits and vegetables and I have yet to see any thing labeled as Mangosteens.........very curious!

        1. re: K

          Look in the canned fruit section. I've seen canned mangosteens several times, bought them once. They tasted sort of like a blend of mandarin orange and lychee. Sort of. But I'd imagine fresh ones would be a different experience entirely.

            1. re: cakeybakey

              tastes ok, not that good. Rather have a mango. Only fresh ones I've had were in canada

      1. There is an interesting article in this month's Gourmet magazine about finding mangosteen's in the US (apparently, they are now being grown in Hawaii).

        1. I have yet to find them anywhere I've been in the US, but I do have them when I go to Toronto, and I think I remember them around Niagra Falls (Canada side).

          1. It is illegal to import fresh Mangosteen into the US due to concerns about the Asian Fruit fly. This also applies to the very small and new production in Hawaii. It is possible to sanitize them by irradiation, and this offers promise that fresh ones will make an appearance sometime soon (we can all hope). Meanwhile only processed ones, e.g. canned, juice, etc., can get in. I have, however, bought frozen ones (the whole thing frozen in its hull) at the Thai Market in Silver Spring, and I imagine others have them as well. How frozen compares with fresh I can't say because I've never been lucky enough to have a fresh one.

            1. I actually brought fresh Mangosteens at the Grandmart near 7 corners sometime last year. It was insanely expensive but I had to buy them! But, it tasted terrible!! Nothing like the juicy and complex tasting fruit I've had back in Asia. So, even if you do see them here, it's not worth getting it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: hosik

                I suspect they were frozen ones that had been thawed and sold as fresh. As mentioned above, you can't (legitimately) get fresh ones in the US--they are not allowed to be imported, including from Hawaii.