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fresh mangosteens

I was thrilled when a friend mentioned seeing fresh mangosteens for sale on Noriega and Irving. We headed over the market at 22nd and Irving and bought a bag. They're $5.99 a pound for a bag of 10 or 12 (~2 pounds). So not cheap. I paid about half that in Toronto.

Imported from Thailand, and on the small size, but ripe and delicious. We ate a bunch each and managed to save a couple to share. Later, Limster described mangosteen as the queen of fruits (where durian is king...).

Are mangosteens so wonderful because they're so rare, or because they're that good? I'm excited not to have to wait until my next trip to Asia to find out.

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  1. Wow, I think $5.99/lb is actually a great price. I saw them at Alemany FM this Saturday for $14 a pound, at the same stall that has the dragon fruit. I was so surprised to see them, I almost bought some. Good to know I can get them on Irving. Thanks for the heads up.

    1. I saw them at the Cambodian market in Oakland last week. They're imported from Thailand as well.

      2 Replies
      1. Actually, these smallish Thai ones are the best. They are much sweeter & have a beautiful texture.

        There's a story about how Queen Victoria promised knighthood to anyone who can bring her fresh mangosteens. Of course, no one managed to do that in her era, as the fruit spoils easily & won't last the trip from the tropics.

        1. Saw some in SF Chinatown last week, on Stockton, somewhere between Pacific and Washington.

          1. here's a picture of the mangosteen from windy!

            1. I saw them in one of the stores in the Richmond Ranch 99 complex at $6.49/lb in 2+pound bag. The place is near the Hong Kong Snack Shop entrance.

              2 Replies
                1. re: Windy

                  Thanks for the heads up--I wonder if there is a season for these, or if an importer just really started hitting the pavement to get these out there.

                  We bought some locally a while back, and like all imported Mangosteens are irradiated. Between the travel time & irradiation, the flavor suffers, but we were still happy to have a "flavor memory" reminder of our trip to Asia. It's still worth searching them out at the source, if you ever have the chance.

              1. The Mangosteens available at Alemany are NOT imported and are grown in Sourthern California (along with all the other "tropical" fruit at that stand).

                They are fresh and taste great (but are quite expensive!).

                3 Replies
                1. re: boris_qd

                  The ones I saw in Richmond had a little yellow quarantine sticker with possible additional print to small for me to scan rapidly. Is that their visa for south/north travel?

                  1. re: boris_qd

                    Oh, that's right. I noticed them at Alemany a couple of weeks ago. But that only adds to my doubts about where their tropical fruit is coming from. I haven't seen many of those items in Southern California, only in Florida and the Caribbean or Hawaii.

                    My understanding was that domestic mangosteen is being grown in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, not in California. Is this incorrect?

                    1. re: Windy

                      The woman at the stand last week said they were being grown in S. CA (also, I believe one of the requirements for the SF farmer's markets is that the food has to be grown in CA).