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May 29, 2007 06:04 AM


Seen any fresh mangosteens for sale yet?

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  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.



            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.



                  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) 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. The original comment has been removed