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Apr 20, 2008 09:40 AM

Fresh Mangosteens--Found

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

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

    13 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

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

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

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

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              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?

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

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

            1. re: Paul H

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

              1. re: Paul H

                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

                  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

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

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      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

                        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

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

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

          2 Replies
            1. re: Windy

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

            2. 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. 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

                  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

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

                    1. re: Windy

                      Frozen mangosteens are way too mushy.

                    2. re: twocents

                      where in chinatown? in the SF chinatown?

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

                      1. re: cubbee

                        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

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