While durian is almost always considered the King of fruit. With its smell of hell and paradise-like taste people in South East Asia like to express the grandness of durian.
In comparison, the mangosteen(mang – kut in Thai) is much more subtle and delicate.
The fruit degraded so fast that someone spread a rumour that Queen Victoria intended to grant knighthood to anyone who brought her one successfully. It was, whether real or not, enough to earn the mangosteen the widespread caption as “the queen of fruits.”
It is also called a super fruit due to its qualities for health. The antioxidants are actually in the peel. The only annoying thing with mangosteen is probably that purple-reddish peel colour that easily sticks onto your clothes and can be difficult to wash off.
Peeled it looks kind of like white orange. The fruit itself tastes sweet with a very modest bitter aftertaste. The number of hard brown petals at the bottom of the fruit indicates the number of segments. Among the pulp segments, only one or two are big and have larger seeds
Frequently westerners struggle with durian but mangosteen is easily loved at first bite.
One aspect that mangosteen share with durian is the high expectations of perfection when it comes to appearance. The nicest samples are often exported abroad to nearby neighbour countries. However, there has been importing restrictions in Western countries out of concern of the Asian fruit fly.
Some of the very best mangosteens in Thailand arguably comes from the Eastern Coastland. Chantaburi is the capital of durian, longan, mangosteen and rambutan. The so-called big four.
But also the Southern province of Nakorn Sri Thammarat is famous for its 100 years old trees and individually handpicked fruits. Some people say that you should have mangosteens after you had durian to cancel out the oily taste from the King of fruit.
The intricacy of the mangosteens from Nakhon Si Thammarat is that they are sweet, crunchy, fragrant, and refreshing. The perfect balance of acid and sweetness.
The Latin name of the fruit is Garcinia mangostana and it originated, most botanists assume, in Malaysia or the Sunda Islands of Indonesia. Fruits are borne on very unhurried growing evergreen trees with glossy, dark green leaves and pyramid-shaped crowns.
At maturity, the trees, which need huge humidity and massive rainfall, can reach up to 9 – 10 meters in height and generate up to 1,000 fruits a year.
Mangosteens are best grown in South East Asia for sure.
We just got a whole box of these delicate fruits sent from a friend in Chantaburi and one day later hardly any remains.
A taste of paradise without the smell of hell!