Indonesian Fruit Installment 4: The Elegant Mangosteen
Every now and again you encounter an elegant fruit that deserves to be photographed on mahogany. For me, that fruit is the mangosteen. This may seem odd, but I believe if the mangosteen was a city, it would be Paris. The dark purple color, the beautiful petal shape on the bottom, and the curving leaves lend an elegance and chicness to this fruit that I associate with Paris.
That said, I had no idea what to do with my mangosteen after I bought it. Do you bite into it? Cut into it? So, naturally, I googled “How to eat mangosteen.” The Internet truly is magically. Behold the perfect how-to article here. If that wasn’t enough, there are some big mangosteen lovers out there who created a website that is all about the fruit, here.
My extensive research led me to the conclusion that I should gently slice the mangosteen in half. Inside I found six white slivers (it really does look like a bunch of garlic). The number of slivers can be determined prior to opening the fruit by counting the number of petals on the bottom of the fruit. Neat! The Internet advised to be careful when slicing and opening the fruit because it can stain. My fingernails had a gentle shade of purple on them for about a day. When I was in Singapore, Shirin told me that some hotels there ban mangosteen, in addition to durians, because they don’t want their white sheets ruined. I used a spoon and scooped out the fruit.
The white slivers, the fruit, were very watery and sweet. They had a pleasant taste and also lessened my thirst (have I mentioned it is hot in Indonesia?) Since my first taste, I have eaten another mangosteen. The key to selecting a mangosteen, according to the Internet, is making sure your fruit has a firm rind.
The one downside with the mangosteen is that it can’t really be an on-the-go fruit because you need a knife to cut it open. So, much like Paris, you should just sit down and slowly enjoy it.