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Mangosteen: The Amazing Superfruit You Probably Haven’t Tried Yet

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The Amazing Superfruit You Probably Haven’t Tried Yet

The elusive mangosteen is tough to find in the store, but easy to fall in love with.

Reader, meet mangosteen. Cited as an up-and-comer in the superfood world, the Southeast Asian fruit that’s packed with a special class of antioxidants might be making its way to a supermarket or beauty aisle near you.

You’ll want to get your hands on some-and get some on your hands-as soon as possible.

I was first introduced to mangosteen while traveling in Thailand in the summer of 2007. It was served to me at an outdoor café in Bangkok alongside several other plump globes altogether unfamiliar to this New Yorker.

Its rind was half removed, revealing flesh that looked not unlike a small citrus fruit that had been blanched by the sun.

One by one, I pried its six white segments from their hemisphere of tough purple hull and savored the elusive, delightful flavor. Sort of like a lychee, I thought, but subtly more complex. Others have described its hard-to-pinpoint taste as evocative of peaches, clementines and mangoes (no relation).

I felt at once enlightened and deprived. Why did I have to wait so long and travel so far to find something so lovely and generously sweet?

In retrospect, I blame the USDA, which banned the importation of mangosteen from Thailand-the number one source-because the fruit harbors foreign plant pests.

In July 2007, perhaps at the very moment I was discovering the succulent fruit for myself, the FDA ended the ban, on the condition that all shipments be irradiated to kill insects before entering the country.

The U.S. imported 730 tons of mangosteen from Thailand in 2013 (for comparison, we bring in millions of tons of bananas annually), with smaller amounts coming from Mexico, Hawaii and the Caribbean, where the growing season is a scant six to 10 weeks from June to August.

Though fully legal today, they are hard to find and they tend to fly from store shelves quickly despite hefty price tags.

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By YouBeauty.com


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