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Fresh Mangosteen in NY?

Are any stores in Brooklyn or Manhattan, or any fruit stands in China town selling fresh mangosteen?

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  1. I've purchased a couple of sacks from one of the metal fruit vendor carts on Canal St (off of Mott St). Unfortunately, the guy doesn't carry them on a consistent basis--it's always hit or miss. Each sack was about 2 - 2.5 lbs (roughly 12 - 15 mangosteens in each), and came in yellow plastic netting--the same kind you see encasing durian fruit. And just like the durians you see in Chinatown, the mangosteens were likely shipped frozen (although they're sold thawed). The ones I purchased from the outdoor vendor felt slightly chilled. Nevertheless, they were delicious. According to the sticker on the sack, they were shipped from Thailand.

    That same vendor sometimes carries whole jackfruit, which I've yet to try (the fruit are enormous, and I don't see myself lugging one back to Brooklyn on the subway). If anyone has tried them, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts. My sister-in-law grew up in the Philippines and raves about the fresh jackfruit she ate growing up.

    2 Replies
    1. re: BklynBlaise

      i haven't had a mangosteen since i lived in brazil when once a week i would experiment with a new fruit; these are by far my FAVORITE! so happy to hear they can be found in the USA!! as for jackfruit, it was plentiful there..the taste reminds me exactly of JUICYFRUIT gum. the texture was so chewy it took forever to eat (besides the enormous size of the fruit itself) and it's been said that the seeds (about the size of walnuts) can be roasted. enjoy!

      1. re: BklynBlaise

        Last Sunday I saw the jackfruit vendor selling half or quarter, much more managable. There are 2 kinds, one with firm flesh, crisp (not crunchy), sweet but not too overpowering. The other kind is very soft, chewy, and very strong flavor. If you have never tried jackfruits but you're interested, I'd suggest you try once to see what it's like. 2 things to note: your sweat will smell like the fruit, and it makes you really really flatulant. :)

      2. I've gotten fresh mangosteen from the fruit stand near Pho Tu Do. But I think it's seasonal. It was definitely fresh as I've had the pre-frozen ones before and there's a big difference in taste. These mangosteens were also more expensive than the frozen ones. I believe the frozen ones are about $7 or so per bag. These mangosteens were about double the cost for the same amount. Not as good as eating them fresh in the country of origin. I don't think they ship very well. But it satisfied my craving.

        1. FYI: The fruit vendor I mentioned on Canal St. had fresh mangosteens (from Thailand) this past Saturday (6/7/08). They were $9 / lb. A sack of roughly 8 fruit cost me $20.

          1. I checked with Agata & Valentina at 79th/1st. They will have mangosteens in June. Meanwhile, Legal Seafood has a special drink using mangosteen puree as a base with Champagne. I had them create me a mangosteen Cosmo instead, which is why I'm now on the hunt for mangosteen!

            1. SE corner of Canal/Mott (6/7/09) ... same yellow net bags ... these, however, running ~$20 @ 8$/lb. The tags indicate they were sourced from Thailand and quarantined, not frozen. If you've been disappointed in the latter you'll find these halve, segment and taste considerably different.

              1. the mangosteens at agata are expensive, and i;ve had more than one rotten one from them, which at that price in ridiculous.

                get them in china town for 1/4 the price

                (besides agata just fired workers for unionizing, so i will not go there anymore)

                1. I just saw mangosteens at the fruit vendor on the southwest corner of Grand and Chrystie. I didn't take a close inspection as to whether or not they had been pre-frozen.

                  1. You are lucky to find Mangosteens at all in the US. Mangosteens are not imported because they can harbor bugs that don't live in the US. However being considered the best and one of the prettiest fruits on the planet I have herd that a plantation has started in HI a few years back. None the less I would love to try a mangosteen!!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: ChefPeter

                      They are all over Manhattan Chinatown, in net bags holding 8 or so. They have not been frozen, they have been irradiated. I got some last Saturday and am enjoying them - they are a bit less lush than the ones we got on the street in Shanghai in May of 07, but are delicious nonetheless. The only physical differences are that the cute little green calyx is not present and the pericarp is slightly softer than in the fresh. (I ate some of these with some very good fresh lychees in bed on Saturday night and felt for a moment like Yang Gueifei when she was still Tang Xuanzong's favorite.)

                      1. re: ChefPeter

                        ChefPeter, your info is outdated. Mangosteens, after irradiation at low doses, are now allowed into the U.S.:

                        That's why we're seeing them all over Chinatown, and not illicitly either, like in the old days. But the lowest price I've seen is $7/lb., in roughly 2.2-lb. net bags, and you don't really get a lot of edible material out of that since the rind is heavy. So I haven't tried the imported ones yet. I loved the mangosteens that I ate in Thailand in the summer of 2007.

                        1. re: Ike

                          thanks for the update. Finally some new exotic food, still haven't tried one yet......

                          1. re: ChefPeter

                            Even at $7.00 a pound they are worth it. They are sort of the uni of the fruit world.

                      2. The Mangosteens are everywhere!! and the vendors know they are HOT!
                        I am not exaggerating. At 10 ft. the vendor identified me as a mangosteen buyer. How did I fit the part? I was in a biking outfit on crowded sidewalk and "Mangosteen, Mangostee." They were right! Worth every penny and delicious!!
                        Two questions, I sensed a slight floral note that I imagine if it were stronger would have made the mangosteen even tastier was mine under ripe? and when am I going to see a desert?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ChefPeter

                          Too funny. They do have a slightly floral note and the flesh is a bit firmer at the source, but the ones I got were quite representative.