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Mangosteens in NYC?

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I just tried freeze-dried mangosteens from Trader Joe's. They are ok, but I'd like to try the fresh ones. Is there anywhere in NYC where I could buy fresh (or even canned) these elusive fruit?

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  1. I'm from Chicago - but here you can find mangoes at most Latino and Asian markets. I just bought fresh frozen mangoes from Trader Joe's. They are great in smoothies.

    2 Replies
    1. re: srneubauer

      Mangosteens are different than mangos. As far as I am aware, it is still illegal to import them although rumors are always popping up about their availability at certain markets along Bowery in Chinatown. I personally have not seen them though.

      1. re: bobby06877

        Yes, totally different from mangoes. Consider, by analogy, grapes and grapefruits. Not the same, right? :-)

    2. I've seen 'em on the street in Chinatown. But according to the Purdue website, this is not the season:

      "At low altitudes in Ceylon the fruit ripens from May to July; at higher elevations, in July and August or August and September. In India, there are 2 distinct fruiting seasons, one in the monsoon period (July-October) and another from April through June. Puerto Rican trees in full sun fruit in July and August; shaded trees, in November and December."

      1. Asian groceries commonly have canned. I didn't know TJs had freeze-dried, I'll have to go look! You can find fresh Mangosteens in Toronto - Canada doesn't have the import restriction the US has.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Docshiva

          ...and yet Canada hasn't been devastated by Asian fruit flies. Hmmmm....

        2. We wrote about our experience finding them in Chinatown earlier this year-- it is possible to do, but you just have to be wily about it. That said, Peter Cuce is spot on: it's not the season for mangosteens, so you probably won't be able to snag any of them; they go quickly.

          Nosher

          NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

          1 Reply
          1. re: Nosher

            They're rumored to be found in Chinatowns and Asian markets here in California, but I've not had a sighting yet. Nosh, very nice site, I enjoyed reading a few pages. Nicely put together and well written.

          2. I ate one last weekend at Granville Market in Vancouver. My sister-in-law found them and said that she hadn't eaten one since leaving HK several years ago (she lives in Seattle).

            1. I bought those freeze-dried mangosteens at TJs. Tore into them as I walked out the door. Walked right back in and said "refund please." They taste nothing like mangosteen. In fact, I'd say they have the texture and taste of a cat treat. And yeah, they are freeze-dried, I get that they won't taste like mangosteen, but they weren't even close. Or tasty just on their own.

              But I say, try them. And if you don't like, take advantage of the return policy.

              1. I think mangosteens are still illegal in the US. Here's a site to confirm.

                http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-man...

                1. Chinatown, on the street. They're not cheap.

                  1. Does anyone know exactly where I can find mangosteen in chinatown?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Mangosteen1

                      Check on Canal in the vicinity of Mulberry and Mott as well as the side streets. There are also produce vendors on Mott but a block or two north of Canal. I can't guarantee that they'll actually HAVE mangosteens (their stock changes all the time) but some of them are quite nice and can perhaps give you an idea of when they might have them.

                      1. re: Mangosteen1

                        the had plenty in the spring, but i think the season is over now

                      2. I've actually spotted them in the Time Warner Whole Foods. On the pricey side at $20 a pound. I generally purchase them from Chinatown or Flushing -- if the price is like $6/lb or less, I pass as they've generally been frozen in the past. But if it's on the pricier side (for Chinatown anyway), I'll purchase them.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Miss Needle

                          like Miss Needle, I've purchased mangosteens in Flushing & in Chinatown. They generally come with tags saying "plant quarantine" so I presume they are legal on a certain level... but legality is besides the point... they're yummy...

                          I believe they're usually about $6.99- 8.99/lb and they are sold by the bag (often bags are 1.5 lbs)-- when they are sold (and as others have said it's patchy) a street vendor on Mulberry near Canal usually has them in Chinatown. In Flushing I've purchased them outside of the grocery store on Kissena blvd near Barclay ave. Note the flushing mangosteens were a terrible disappointment because they were old/ overripe. I recommend schooling up on how to pick 'em before you spend $17 on a bag...

                          In the meanwhile, if you're looking for an exotic fruit to hold you over, try pomelo from chinatown. It's like a cross between a grapefruit and a soccerball. good videos on how to peel them can be found on youtube...

                          1. re: courtney.hami

                            "It's like a cross between a grapefruit and a soccerball"

                            Hahahah

                        2. Mangosteens are definitely nothing like mangoes! Flushing/Queens Chinatown is definitely the way to go... I saw them earlier this year.