Mangosteen Quality Control
Last week i bought a bag of mangosteens on Canal St...price was okay: 5 or 6 bucks for a reasonably large bag...two questions:
-- when i've eaten mangosteen in Thailand, the inner segments were usually clean, puffy white and there is a clear contrast w/ the deep purple shell...in some of these Chinatown mangosteens, the shell bled into the white fruit, coloring them pinkish or violet...is this common? (my first reaction was to wonder if the shells had been dyed in some way)...
-- the first two i ate were ok, but i tried them again after a couple days (they'd been in a very cold refrigerator) and they were wrectched: awful bitter taste...i threw out the whole bag...
Any thoughts on any of this?
This is typical of mangosteens that have been frozen and thawed. Usually if you eat them shortly after defrosting, the skin hasn't had time to leach into the fruit, but if they sit around for a while this is what you get. I bought some 'fresh' mangosteens this summer in chinatown that were decent, but i think most of the mangosteens being sold are frozen, or previously frozen.
Five or six bucks a bag is definitely pre-frozen mangosteens. Occasionally, you'll find fresh ones at a much higher price. That same size bag (perhaps a bit smaller) will be in the teens if it's fresh. I've purchased fresh ones at the fruit stand next to Pho Tu Do and in Flushing. It's not as good as eating them in the country of origin, but a ton better than those nasty bitter pre-frozen ones.