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Jul 12, 2006 05:48 PM

Nevermind the durian -- what about Mangosteen fruits?

Every had a mangosteen? Truly unique taste (nothing to do with mangos), amazing asian fruit. But as far as I know, import is banned for some reason. But perhaps someone out there knows who might import them anyway? Any help is much appreciated.

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  1. Talked to a shopkeeper in Little Saigon earlier this month, she says that US law has changed to allow them to start importing fresh mangonsteens when the season starts this September. That shop also had tons of fresh jackfruit.

    You can find frozen mangosteens in places such as Hawaii supermarket in San Gabriel.

    13 Replies
    1. re: WBGuy

      Can you give more info on where Little Siagon is and/or this shop's location/name? I would love to find a real mangosteen in California.

      1. re: Marco Polo

        I don't remember the shop's name. It's a tropical fruit shop in Westminster, in a shopping center at the corner of Bolsa and Magnolia, if I remember correctly. The shopkeeper said that she's been waiting 30 years for the chance to import mangosteens, and it'll happen sometime this fall.

        1. re: WBGuy

          I don't remember the shop's name, either; however, we bought a netted bag of the world's most gorgeous fruit, RAMBUTAN. They are golf-ball size and pure red with brown hairs protruding around. This is a southeast Asian fruit, related to the lychee, I believe. Don't eat the seed...I think it is poisonous, but the fruit is wonderful!

          This is a very special fruit market with many very exotic fruits and flowers. Their prices are great -- as I remember.

          1. re: WBGuy

            A tropical fruit store!? Intrigued doesn't even begin to cover it! If anyone has indentifying details about this place (name, address, telephone, etc.) please, please post.

            1. re: David Kahn

              I can talk about this fruit store...perhaps this will help. We have gone over there to have a Bahn Mi, and then we walked along the sidewalk from little outdoor strip mall to strip mall. This store is small and on a corner, and I remember their carrying a lot of exotic fruits AND the prices, I thought, were good. I also remember the sidewalk being crowded with flowers, as though the store were spilling out the door. WBGuy, a couple of posts up, says that the intersection is Bolsa and Magnolia. I don't know, but I think it is in the same neighborhood. So, go, park and walk. It is a very interesting area. Also, down one of the sidestreets is a very good tofu "factory" where you can buy tofu stuffs (and open on Saturday)...oh, please...someone help me with directions.

              1. re: David Kahn

                It's on Bolsa ave in Westminster, in the same shopping mall as Banh Me Che Cali. You can't miss it. As liu mentioned, look for the store with flowers and large jackfruit and dragonfruit out front.

                Banh Mi & Che Cali Bakery
                8948 Bolsa Ave, Westminster

                1. re: David Kahn

                  Ohmygosh..FRESH mangosteens?! For crying out loud...I'm salivating forever.

                  And it's completely ironic, but somebody actually haded me a sack of frozen mangosteens this morning. I almost cried from joy, since I haven't had a chance to eat mangosteen ever since I went to Tahiland 4 years ago...

                  Okay, back to the topic:

                  The fruit store's info:

                  Tien Phat Produce
                  9291 Bolsa Ave
                  Westminster, CA 92683
                  (714) 893-7970

                  It's on the intersection of Bolsa & Moran. On the other side of Moran is Lee's Sandwiches, as seen here:

                2. re: WBGuy

                  Awesome. Thanks. I have been waiting 10 years to eat an imported mangosteen. I have had them abroad, but it would be nice to share them with family/friends here.

                  1. re: Marco Polo

                    Does someone know for sure that this produce shop HAS mangosteens, or will have them? I read that there was "hope," but we should check and post when that IS!

                    1. re: Marco Polo

                      While there, why not check out the tofu "factory" as well. Does anyone know where that is and its name? It is down one of the nearby side streets, less than a block down as I remember, right next to a bakery.

                3. re: WBGuy

                  I don't know if it will be this fall because because the new law involves irradiating the fruit. Currently no facilities in Thailand are approved for this sort of treatment and also the comment period for this law ends on Sept 25. It's my understanding that the law can't go into affect until after the comment period. Hopefully they can get some plants approved and finish up the change in regulations by then though. The new law covers six fruits which are: litchi, longan, mango, mangosteen, pineapple and rambutan.

                  1. re: WBGuy

                    You can get Mangostten on the corner of ORD and Broadway next to the fish market in Chinatown. It runs a whopping $6.00 per pound and that's after haggling the price. I just purchased some yesterday. If you live in Hollywood - I have purchased it fresh at the Siam Market on Hollywood Blvd - BUT they were not very fresh and I had to throw half away. The ones from Chinatown were more FRESH!

                  2. Had frozen mangosteen as part of a dessert course at Ryokan Shiraume in Kyoto - it was cut open in half so the frozen fruit inside was exposed - we ate it like it was ice cream or sorbet - I have never forgotten how delicious it was. I'll be looking on Argyle Street come September!

                    1. Fresh mangosteens were briefly spotted in New York Chinatown last week. I was looking for them this past weekend at Hawaii Supermarket and the San Gabriel Superstore, but there weren't any there.


                      1. Please, please do post an update if and when you ever do find them. I will weep with joy to be able to enjoy fresh mangosteens without flying to Southeast Asia.

                        3 Replies
                          1. re: The Oracle

                            Me three. There is nothing like a fresh mangosteen, and it would be spectacular to get them here in L.A.

                        1. There was an article in today's NY Times food section on mangosteens and its impending importation (legal) into the US mainland. Looks like Melissa's produce will carry them in the West. Can't wait!