Sunday, November 20, 2011

The elusive mangosteen...finally eaten

It's been said that the mangosteen is the most delicious fruit in the world.

I've heard it multiple times, but it wasn't until a couple months ago that I finally got a chance to form my own opinion.

At the time, I was in the city of Dezhou, in the coastal province of Shandong, which is located on the breast of the metaphorical "Rooster of China." The climate there in the summer is hot and humid, the type where an hour-long walk outdoors will soak your shirts, so I shouldn't have been so surprised to come across a bin of mangosteens in the supermarket.

I took out my camera and was immediately reprimanded for taking this photo:

Supermarket workers in China, I've found, get very excited in a horrible way when they find you taking photos. Bowling alleys, too. My brother and I actually had a very bizarre encounter with a worker at one, but that's a story for another time.

As for how it tasted: the fruit was fragrant, sweet and tangy, lightly tasting of banana and pear. Its flesh reminded me of the lychee's, in that it was white and juicy, but was a bit slimier and not as firm – it melts as you eat it. The insides are sectioned like a tangerine's. The seeds were large, with smooth, chestnut-like shells.

Photo credit: Cream and Sugar

The verdict? It was OK. Just OK. It's very possible that these just weren't good and ripe and fresh mangosteens. They could've been imports. In any case, they were a bit too tangy for me, and the fruit to seed ratio was not as high as I personally like.