Ahhh, mangosteens. My water bottle is empty, and the water dispenser at the shack has run dry. It looks like this fruit is my best chance at slaking my thirst. No one else takes him up on the offer. Woohoo! More for me!
|Mystery Fruit #4 - Voted "Prettiest Fruit Bottom" (by me)|
Mangosteens are small like a billiard ball and have a hard, outer rind like a pomegranate. As I pry open the deep brownish-purplish shell with my bare hands, my fingertips turn dark. A woodcarver I meet later in the trip tells me he uses crushed mangosteen rinds to stain his artwork.
But the segmented fruit inside is a snow-white color. I pull off a piece that looks somewhat like an albino tangerine section and pop it into my mouth. It's exceptionally sweet and just juicy enough to provide some relief to my parched mouth. Dark seeds bigger than an orange seed are inside some of the segments, but it's not enough to be bothersome.
|Mangosteen - Sweet and juicy superfruit|
Here, it is nicknamed "The Queen of Fruits, and is in no way related to mangoes. Supposedly, mangosteens have remarkable anti-microbial, anti-aging, anti-radical, anti-parasitic and cancer-fighting properties. Folk medicine uses it to treat tuberculosis, malaria, dysentery, UTIs, and eczema. Well, I just needed it to prevent dehydration for a couple hours. When I visited America, I saw its juice at a specialty grocery store being promoted as a Superfruit, but in Penang, it's in the refrigerated case right next to standards like orange juice and apple juice.
|Just another juice|
Mangosteens are also very decorative. My friend had a bowl full of them out one day, and I noticed how striking they are massed together. Perhaps Pottery Barn needs to start selling replicas.
Have you ever tried mangosteen?
Mystery Fruit #1: Ciku
Mystery Fruit #2: Elixir of Immortality
Mystery Fruit #3: Passion Fruit
Mystery Fruit #5: Dragonfruit