Earlier this week we flew from London to Sydney, stopping in Singapore for a few hours. One of the goals during our 10 hour stopover in Singapore was to find and eat as many mangosteens as possible. If you are looking for them they are easiest to find in the busy Chinatown area and can be eaten anywhere, we took them to the lovely Botanic Gardens to enjoy.
The mangosteen is said to be the Queen of fruits and is apparently quite difficult to grow but as tropical fruits go it is pretty amazing.
If you have never seen a mangosteen before they are small, round fruit, about the size of a tennis ball or smaller. The shell is a deep plum colour with a small green calyx on the top.
When we first discovered mangosteens we used a knife to carefully peel away the hard shell, it was tedious and time consuming almost to the point of wondering if it was worth it. After tasting the fruit we realised it definitely WAS worth the effort. The flavour of the fruit is difficult to describe, it is very sweet and light. I think that the flavour is a bit like other small white tropical fruits like lychee and rambutan. If you don’t like either of these fruits try a mangosteen anyway as they are not exactly the same.
It was several years ago when we were young enough to stay at a backpacker’s hostel when we first discovered mangosteens and opened them with a knife until one of the staff there said ‘just do it like this’.
The red skin is astringent so don’t try to eat it but you can now enjoy the tasty white segments inside, bearing in mind that some of the bigger ones may contain a seed.