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Fresh Mangosteens--Found

SteveG Apr 20, 2008 09:40 AM

Was just at Monterey market yesterday and saw fresh Mangosteens, imported from Thailand. $16 / lb. They're good, better than frozen or canned, but not as good as what we had in SE Asia--no surprise there.

Monterey Foods
1550 Hopkins St, Berkeley, CA 94707

  1. wolfe Jun 2, 2008 11:27 AM

    Just seen at Ranch 99 Richmond/El Cerrito, small net bags with 10-12/bag at $7.99/pound.Bags approximately 2 pounds. P.S. How do you peel the suckers? I sawed through my first one. Is there an easier way?

    4 Replies
    1. re: wolfe
      singleguychef Jun 2, 2008 11:33 AM

      You don't peel it. You have to saw through it with a serrated knife. When traveling in Vietnam, they cut across the width of fruit like drawing the line of the equator on a globe and then twisted off the top, just like what you might do for an avocado. Then you expose the white fruit flesh in the center.

      1. re: singleguychef
        wolfe Jun 2, 2008 12:11 PM

        That is what I did. For those unfamilar the peel/rind is about 1/4 inch thick and hard. I was wondering if a blow with a mallet might crack it along a fault line or would I end up with mangosteen all over the floor

        1. re: wolfe
          aburitoro Jun 4, 2008 12:24 AM

          Run your knife down the sides a few times (~4x) longitudinally, and peel the thick skin away. You can also 'scalp' it to make it easier to peel, slicing off the top cm or so, which exposes the top of the fleshy part.

          Or you can just squeeze the fruit with your fingers until the skin cracks and peel it that way, though you'll smash a bitt of the flesh and get some juice on your hands. This is generally how I do it outside after purchasing it from a street vendor in Asia.

          1. re: aburitoro
            wolfe Jun 4, 2008 06:48 AM

            Thank you.

    2. c
      charliemyboy May 10, 2008 08:04 PM

      One of the most gratifying fruit-tasting experiences of my life was my first taste of mangosteen in Thailand several years ago. I didn't get another chance at fresh mangosteen until last year when I had some in Beijing. It was very good, but nowhere near the cosmic experience of my first time. Does fresh Thai mangosteen have a reputation as being better than the fruit from other countries?

      1 Reply
      1. re: charliemyboy
        Windy May 11, 2008 10:28 AM

        That's because they aren't grown in Beijing. The fruit you ate was most likely grown in Thailand and shipped to China.

        It's the same reason bananas are better in Miami than in San Francisco. They're picked ripe.

      2. j
        jimtak May 6, 2008 03:36 PM

        Bought a two pound bag of "fresh" mangosteens (irradiated) at Asia Market on Guernville Road in Santa Rosa at $17. These changed my mind about this fruit, having only had canned and frozen versions. Great texture, and teasing acidity with sweet,
        dancing flavors. Wow.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jimtak
          wolfe May 7, 2008 08:16 AM

          In the words of Arte Johnson ""Verrry interesting..." .

        2. n
          nekkidchef May 5, 2008 02:12 PM

          I saw bags of fresh mangosteens yesterday at New Mae Wah market on Clement Street for $7.99

          1. Chuckles the Clone Apr 28, 2008 07:06 PM

            Berkeley Bowl has quarts of mangosteen juice in glass bottles about mid-aisle in the
            quarts-of-juice-in-glass-bottles aisle. $20/quart. Yes, twenty. When I asked a year or
            so ago about those radioactive mangos from India, they said they had a store policy
            against radioactive fruit. I assume this is why there are no fresh mangosteens available

            5 Replies
            1. re: Chuckles the Clone
              wolfe Apr 28, 2008 07:23 PM

              Chuckles there is a difference between irradiated food and radioactive food. The irradiated fruit has no residual radiation just as you would have no residual radiation after an x-ray. If you had an implant or injected radioactive material for a diagnostic study or treatment you would be radioactive for a limited period. Some effects of the irradiation can be found in the articles whose abstracts are referenced by Mr Lauriston above. Unfortunately, the effects on taste are noted but not characterized in the abstracts.

              1. re: Chuckles the Clone
                Robert Lauriston May 5, 2008 04:18 PM

                It's hard to enforce a no-irradiated-produce rule, since in the US there's no requirement that it be labeled.

                I've gotten irradiated Chinese garlic at the Bowl, though not recently, maybe they stopped carrying it.

                I'm pretty the mameys we've bought there (including one just the other day) were irradiated. They go from unripe to overripe much faster than the normal ones in Mexico.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  aburitoro May 10, 2008 03:48 PM

                  Irradiated produce generally lasts longer and ripens slower than non-irradiated.


                  1. re: aburitoro
                    Robert Lauriston May 11, 2008 11:22 AM

                    Almost all produce stops ripening when its picked. Irradiation halts any further ripening in those few fruits (such as pears) that are an exception.

                    Conventional produce is often picked unripe so that it won't be as prone to spoilage and bruising. Produce that will be irradiated can be picked ripe or closer to ripe, since it does not spoil nearly as fast.

                    The FDA is highly biased in favor of whatever's expedient for big agribusiness corporations (e.g. its original proposal to count sewage sludge as an organic fertilizer and its ongoing efforts to ban labeling of milk from rBGH-free cows).

                    It's very hard to find impartial analyses of irradiation, since most published studies are sponsored by organizations that stand to benefit from it, and most of the critical literature is not very rigorous.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                      wolfe May 11, 2008 11:41 AM

                      We can then assume that these references you found met your rigorous standards for impartiality.


                      Robert Lauriston Apr 28, 2008 01:39PM

              2. rob133 Apr 28, 2008 04:12 PM

                Dan's Produce in Alameda has also got them in stock. I noticed a couple of new and unusual offerings over the weekend.

                1. twocents Apr 27, 2008 06:47 PM

                  I bought some in SF Chinatown 4/26 for about $8 a pound. I have never had them before and so was pretty curious; unfortunately that makes me a bad candidate to judge the quality. Flavor was very nice; a bit like a custardy, particularly flavorful grape. I am assuming that these are the irradiated imported ones. Also cut myself opening up the last of four. Are the frozen ones really that bad? I would guess at least the flavor should be close to what is expected.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: twocents
                    Windy Apr 27, 2008 07:23 PM

                    I can't imagine a frozen mangosteen would work at all. The key to them is the texture, which is somewhere between citrus and a marshmallow. I've had mangosteen juice (canned) and it is simply very sweet.

                    1. re: Windy
                      twocents Apr 28, 2008 11:39 AM

                      Thanks for the comment. I have had the juice too, and agree it lacks distinctiveness.

                      1. re: Windy
                        aburitoro May 10, 2008 03:44 PM

                        Frozen mangosteens are way too mushy.

                      2. re: twocents
                        cubbee Apr 28, 2008 12:21 PM

                        where in chinatown? in the SF chinatown?

                        would love to know if anyone has seen them in SF... thanks!

                        1. re: cubbee
                          twocents Apr 28, 2008 03:33 PM

                          SF Chinatown. I think it was Little Paradise, on Stockton at Jackson. Certainly there or on a nearby block on that side of Stockton.

                        2. re: twocents
                          sashamalchik Apr 28, 2008 06:02 PM

                          Hm, you wouldn't really be able to cut yourself (unless you mean by a knife) opening fresh good mangosteens; their rind becomes very hard only when they are old, getting spoiled inside, and generally no longer fresh...

                        3. f
                          fishhead Apr 20, 2008 10:49 PM

                          On Saturday, some guys were selling fresh, irradiated mangosteens from a mini-van outside of Century Plaza, on Story, in SJ. They were $22 for a two pound bag. They sometimes have fresh jackfruit too.

                          I weighed about a half dozen bags on their scale and they all weighed less than two pounds. When I pointed this out, they offered a $2 price reduction.

                          1. Windy Apr 20, 2008 11:17 AM

                            What happened to the plan to grow them in Puerto Rico?

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Windy
                              Robert Lauriston Apr 20, 2008 11:34 AM

                              There are some, and they don't have to be irradiated, but quantities are very limited:



                              1. re: Windy
                                SteveG Apr 20, 2008 12:23 PM

                                I think those darned people who live in NYC buy up the whole supply.

                              2. Robert Lauriston Apr 20, 2008 10:20 AM

                                Those are irradiated, not exactly fresh--it's sort of like pasteurization.

                                13 Replies
                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                  xanadude Apr 28, 2008 01:31 PM

                                  Unlike pasteurization, I don't believe irradiation causes any detectable difference in taste.

                                  1. re: xanadude
                                    Robert Lauriston Apr 28, 2008 01:39 PM

                                    Studies have found otherwise.



                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                      wolfe Apr 28, 2008 03:28 PM

                                      Since I do not have a subscription perhaps you could tell me was the flavor of the irradiated fruit better or worse?

                                      1. re: wolfe
                                        Robert Lauriston Apr 28, 2008 05:30 PM

                                        Read the abstracts.

                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                          wolfe Apr 28, 2008 05:43 PM

                                          Good answer. I did and I repeat which fruit tasted better?
                                          Ripening of both control and irradiated mangoes was accompanied by changes in glycerides as well as fatty acids. Oleic acid of pulp oil of irradiated mangoes decreased appreciably during ripening as compared with controls. Lin-oleic acid of pulp oil of unirradiated fruits decreased markedly on the 6th day of storage. With irradiated fruits linoleic acid remained unaffected up to the 12th day of storage. Linolenic acid content of pulp oil of irradiated fruit increased much more than that of unirradiated fruit during ripening. Gas chromatographic profiles of volatiles of control and irradiated mangoes showed no difference.

                                          Differences were found in flavor of fresh sections, fresh juice, and aroma of peel oil when obtained from fruit irradiated with x-rays, as compared with products from nonirradiated fruit. Flavor differences were found in all pasteurized juices from fruit irradiated at 50–60 krad. Vitamin C levels were significantly lower in juice from most irradiated fruit. Flavor differences were found in fresh and pasteurized juice from fruit treated with methyl bromide, and in pasteurized juice from fruit treated with ethylene dibromide. Aroma differences were found in peel oil from fruit treated with phosphine.

                                          Flavor differences were found and irradiated fruit had more linoleic acid.
                                          Great but which tasted better?

                                      2. re: Robert Lauriston
                                        Paul H Apr 28, 2008 05:45 PM

                                        At least from the abstracts, although differences were noted, they were not characterized, e.g. tastes better, worse, no difference.

                                        1. re: Paul H
                                          wolfe Apr 28, 2008 05:55 PM

                                          Thank you Paul H. That is exactly what I asked Robert.

                                          1. re: Paul H
                                            Robert Lauriston May 5, 2008 04:13 PM

                                            The assertion was that irradiation has no effect on taste. Studies have consistently shown that it does. That's hardly surprising: any physical process intrusive enough to kill bacteria is necessarily also going to disrupt some flavor molecules.

                                            In the US, New York's currently the only place people might get a chance to compare fresh ripe and irradiated mangosteens side by side. However, you can easily find irradiated Chinese garlic and compare it with fresh garlic from the farmers market.

                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                              wolfe May 5, 2008 04:20 PM

                                              No one said it didn't have an effect on taste. Your abstracts indicate that it did. They did not however says whether a blind tasting established which of the fruits tasted better.

                                              1. re: wolfe
                                                Robert Lauriston May 5, 2008 04:28 PM

                                                xanadude, Apr 28: "Unlike pasteurization, I don't believe irradiation causes any detectable difference in taste."

                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                  wolfe May 5, 2008 04:37 PM

                                                  That's xanadude's belief. My question is what effect. You submitted scientific abstracts which do not answer the question. They may in the full report.Given there is a effect on taste, what is it? Is the taste better or worse?

                                                  1. re: wolfe
                                                    Chuckles the Clone May 5, 2008 08:14 PM

                                                    It's sortof beside the point here, no? It makes it taste -different-. Which means it makes it taste not like a mangosteen. And since we're talking about mangosteens and the taste of mangosteens, if we go to the store and get something that tastes different from a mangosteen that's not good. Even if the taste is better than a mangosteen. Because what I'm looking for is something that reminds me of my trip to Indonesia. Not something somehow different, even if better.

                                                    1. re: Chuckles the Clone
                                                      wolfe May 5, 2008 09:04 PM

                                                      Maybe it tastes like a better mangosteen. I'm sure there are levels of mangosteen-ness.

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