HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >



Seen any fresh mangosteens for sale yet?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What do you mean by "yet?" Are they being allowed into this country? If so, I would be one happy camper.

    1. I actually have a little mangosteen story that may be of interest.

      A couple weeks ago, I passed by the stand on the northwest corner of Bowery and Grand. I've heard that mangosteens were found there in the past, though all I'd ever gotten from them were suspicious looks and insistence that the fruit is illegal. During this particular visit, I met with much the same response, though this time I knew I could argue.

      I wound up speaking to the stand's owner, who seemed very interested when I not only insisted that mangosteens could be imported legally, but then proceeded to pull up a New York Times article on my phone for confirmation. He asked me to e-mail the article to him, and was clearly excited by the prospect of being able to sell the fruit.

      So, that said, we'll see how it goes. I was actually planning on walking down there today to see if any progress has been made.

      6 Replies
      1. re: big o


        Once mangosteens are available in NYC, how long do you think it will take for them to be the new "it" ingredient in Manhattan restaurants?

        Short ribs --> blood orange --> mangosteen?

        Really, I'm just looking forward to someone creating mangosteen ice cream, cocktails with mangosteen sections floating in them, maybe some kind of tasty salad with mangosteen. . .

        1. re: Andrew P.

          That is terrific news. Yeah, I'm sure a lot of chefs will do a lot with mangosteen. For me, there's nothing like eating it plain. I'd rather have mangosteen over chocolate (and that's saying a lot). Mangosteen also has great health benefits. If anybody spots it in NYC, please let us know.

        2. re: big o

          When I asked at that shop today, the man who I assume is the owner told me (rather grumpily, I thought, that there were NO MANGOSTEENS here). I did buy some nice cherries from him, though. If jackfruit is the fairly-similar-to-durian--looking large yellow-green fruit with nubs on the outside sold in yellow net bags, he has them there today.

          1. re: erica

            The guy who I spoke to was young and spoke English very well. I've passed by twice since my last post: the first time, he wasn't there; the second time, they were already closed up for the day.

            I had my conversation with him on a Thursday (I remember it being on the second, and final, day of a recent jury duty stint), so I'll try and get down there tomorrow after work.

            1. re: big o

              Please let us know. When I was there about noon yesterday, a middle-aged man was handling the money. I got the feeling he was tired of answering the "do you have mangosteens?" question. And I made sure to buy something (the cherries..two pounds for $3.00) before I asked.

          2. re: big o

            This is great news. I didn't know they were legal in the U.S. yet. I shop in Chinatown all the time, if I see them I'll post (and please do the same). Last time I had them was in Thailand.

          3. Well you know we found them and wrote about them just before the NYT got to them last year in Chinatown. I've been on the lookout, and I'll post about them here if I do find them.


            NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

            1. How does one say "mangosteen" in the languages of the folks that might be selling them (i.e. Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Thai, Malay, etc.)? It might make it easier to score.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Joe MacBu

                in Thai, it's "mangkut" -- but i'd imagine the sellers in Chinatown are Cantonese or Vietnamese...

                i'll be very happy if its available on Bowery this summer: i'm in Bangkok right now and have been eating mangosteen often: a bag w/ about 30 of them sells for about the equivalent of 60 cents right by my place here...but i have to go back to NYC for a few weeks and will no doubt be craving them...

                Also, i've never been able to find fresh jackfruit in Chinatown, which is actually my favorite SE Asian fruit...anyone seen it in Chinatown recently?

                1. re: Simon

                  You'll be in for a price shock. When we bought them last year, they cost about $10 for a bag of 10 or so. 50 times the price...ouch.


                  NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

                  1. re: Nosher

                    yeah, i'm in Tokyo now and i saw wrapped little pack of six selling for the equivalent of 6 dollars in Shibuya and i laughed (sadly)...so i'll be somewhat prepared when i hit Mulberry next month...but if NYC Chinatown does indeed (as a post above indicates) have jackfruit, that'll be a nice way to while away the NY summer (learning to peel/whittle away the spikeless-durian-like shell to harvest the tulips inside)...

                2. re: Joe MacBu

                  山竹 (shanzhu) in Mandarin, per a friend in Shanghai (which was overrun with street vendors of same in late April when I was there)

                3. I went to the corner stand on Mulberry and Canal (the one on the SE side). I asked about mangosteens after I bought 2 pounds of cherries (about a quarter of them were actually edible- all the rest were bruised or rotten)...anyway...the lady looked at me like I was crazy when I asked about mangosteens.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: pastoralia

                    For what it's worth, I have never found asking to be a reliable tactic. In general, you go, spot the mangosteens and then buy them. They're out and only barely hidden, so just watch for them in buckets, boxes, bags.


                    NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

                      1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis

                        Wer ethese fresh or frozen? You can reliably get frozen mangosteen in the Thai grocery store on Mott. They're very nice there, though i havent bought them frozen fruit. My sense is that the frozen ones are so far inferior in quality that it isnt worth it, but I dont say that from personal experience.

                        1. re: Produce Addict

                          Interesting question.
                          Look at my link (granted my 12MG was on loan, but still). Yeah, frozen.
                          When I bought them they were dangling from a mesh bag (not unlike whole durians) and warm to the touch, no "cooler".
                          I opened over a dozen; two-three were ... uh, "close", *not* (caveat emptor)
                          The "queen of fruit" ... the search goes on ...

                    1. I finally ran into the guy that I spoke to a few weeks back, at the shop on the northwest corner of Bowery and Grand...

                      Right now, he has bags of whole, frozen mangosteens sitting out in a cooler in front of the stand ($10). While I'd obviously prefer fresh, I wasn't about to pass up the first chance I've ever had to buy these things.

                      The guy recognized me and we spoke a bit about the research he did after I showed him the New York Times article. He hopes to have fresh mangosteens coming in eventually. Let's keep our fingers crossed that it's soon.

                      1. Southeast corner of Elizabeth and Grand, frozen, $10/bag.

                        1. Found them today at the stand on the NW corner of Grand and Bowery. $8 a bag, the first time I've ever had a mangosteen, they are pretty tasty. I wouldn't know if these were once frozen and now thawed, but I'm pretty happy with them.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: zEli173

                            Thanks for the tip, zEli.
                            I walked down there yesterday evening and picked up a bag. At first, I couldn't find them, but then I saw the foam cooler labeled "MANGOSTEEN". These were definitely frozen (mine were still quite cold, some nearer the bottom of the cooler had frost all over them). Still, it's the genuine article (grown in Thailand) in NYC! The sight of them made me very happy, and transported me back to the first time I ever had one -- standing on the street in Hong Kong several years ago.
                            Now that they've thawed, I'm looking forward to trying them today.

                            1. re: Andrew P.

                              I hope you're not too disappointed, eating (pre)frozen mangosteens are a frustrating tease. in my experience you can't let them defrost as the bitter juices from the inside of the skin leach into the delicate fruit, ruining the flavor. peeling the mangosteen while still mostly frozen and letting the fruit thaw has better results (or eat it as it's defrosting). keep the uneaten ones in the freezer until you're ready to eat them. however you eat it, it doesn't come close to fresh, but when you're desperate...

                          2. Mangosteens are coming later this year, says the NYT:


                            FRESH mangosteens and mangoes from Thailand will soon be available in the United States, the Agriculture Department has decided. Those fruits — as well as fresh pineapples, rambutans, litchis and longans — had been barred as imports from Thailand because they could harbor harmful insects, but will be allowed in when irradiated at low doses to kill or sterilize the pests.

                            Fresh but irradiated mangosteens will start to arrive from Thailand later this year.

                            The new rule, published by the department last Wednesday, is effective July 23. But it will take longer for department inspectors to approve the irradiation and packing facilities and procedures. The first fruit should arrive around September, said Rapibhat Chandarasrivongs, the agricultural minister-counselor at the Thai Embassy in Washington.

                            1. Looks like the fresh ones are starting to come in:

                              According to the article, they will be available here:

                              AGATA & VALENTINA RISTORANTE 1513 First Avenue (79th Street); (212) 452-0691. $11 each.

                              THE ORCHARD 1367 Coney Island Avenue (Avenue J), Brooklyn; (718) 377-1799. $45 a pound.

                              SCHMIDT’S MARKET 120 North Sea Road, Southampton, N.Y.; (631) 283-5777. $60 a pound.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Joe MacBu

                                But they come from Puerto Rico, not Thailand!

                                  1. re: iv2040

                                    I have never had any from Puerto Rico...who knows?!

                                    1. re: erica

                                      Agata & Valentina is selling the fresh mangosteens in the retail store as of today (it was covered on NPR this afternoon), but they are pricey - $12 for medium sized ones, $15 for large ones.

                              2. I saw some today on Canal near Mott, not far from New Kam Man. They were $7 a bag.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                  Bought some of these on Sunday (they were frozen when I got them), put them in fridge and had some last night - they survive freezing surprisingly well. Not as plush as fresh ones but worth eating.

                                2. Fresh mangosteens are all over Flushing right now. The going rate is $7.99/lb for a ~2lb sack. They're definitely not the frozen stuff I've bought in Chinatown before. Imported from Thailand and almost as good as the ones I had in Bangkok.

                                  Distributed by Vanna's Tropical: http://www.vannastropicals.com/Our_Fr...

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Joe MacBu

                                    Can you help with where to look? I was in Hong Kong supermarket tonight, and I didn't find any. I also checked H Mart earlier today.


                                    1. re: levolorman

                                      I bought a bag from Chung Fat market on Main St between Sanford and Maple.
                                      It's also available at A&N across the street, but they are $1 more per pound.
                                      Two weeks ago, I spotted some at GW market on Northern/Leavitt.

                                    2. re: Joe MacBu

                                      yup, they are all over. not frozen, just irradiated for import reasons. pretty good, they were good.