Mangosteen – The “Queen” of Fruits

What is a mangosteen?

The mangosteen fruit, although well known in tropical and subtropical climates, is a relative stranger to most other countries. Given its name, the mangosteen could also be easily confused as a hybrid of the mango. Though the mangosteen and the mango are of the same family and grow in the same areas, these fruits not only look different, they have a a lot completely different taste.

A mangosteen fruit is approximately the same size as an orange, however with a deep purplish-colored skin. The outer rind of a mangosteen may be very leathery, with scars, and serves to protect the scrumptious internal pulp. Found on each mangosteen fruit is a scar at one finish, displaying remnants of the flower that once grew there. Interestingly, based on the number of flower segments nonetheless discovered in the scar, one can inform how many segments of fruit will be found inside.

The style of a mangosteen has been likened to that of no different fruit, hence the nickname “Queen of Fruits” or “Food of the Gods” on some Caribbean islands. While it’s troublesome to describe its taste, many individuals examine it to a cross between strawberries and oranges, with just a contact of acidity. However, the texture of the rich interior pulp is far like a ripe plum. Traditionally, the mangosteen is a fruit greatest experienced contemporary and unprocessed. Nonetheless, as it begins to achieve in styleity in nations all over the world, mangosteen can be found canned or frozen, and is made into syrup, preserves, and, most popularly, juice.

The Origin of Mangosteen

While Chinese and ayurvedic practitioners have known of the high nutritional and medicinal value of the mangosteen for hundreds of years, it was first “discovered” by the French explorer Laurentiers Garcin in the 1700s. It’s from him that the scientific name for mangosteen, Garcinia mangostana, comes.

The mangosteen tree doesn’t grow well as a “wild plant,” and fares finest if it is cultivated in the excellent climate. Most of the plants are present in Thailand, a country so enamoured of the mangosteen, it adopted it as its nationwide fruit.

Although efforts have been made to develop orchards, because of their finicky progress patterns and unpredictable harvest instances, mangosteen trees are largely discovered alongside the banks of rivers or lakes, because the tree roots want almost fixed moisture.

Because of governmental laws, import of the recent mangosteen fruit into the United States is illegal. Fears of introducing the devastating Asian fruit fly into the country have primarily kept the fruits themselves from crossing the borders, though often one could find a mangosteen fruit on the shelves of a small Asian grocery store. And because mangosteen timber only develop in certain climates, makes an attempt to domesticate the fruit within the country have yet to “fruitabsolutely” succeed.

Making it additionally tough to mass-produce mangosteen, a tree takes a few years after planting to start producing fruit. From the time of planting a mangosteen seed, the growing tree will take ten years or more to start producing fruit. Uncharacteristically for a tropical fruit tree, the mangosteen tree will only grow to about 10 to twenty feet in height. As soon as it matures to full progress, one average tree will produce approximately 500 mangosteen fruits per harvest. However, the longer a mangosteen tree stands, the higher the yield. There have been reports of 30-yr-old mangosteen trees producing up to 2000 fruits in one season.

Enjoying Mangosteen

As mentioned, the import of mangosteen into the United States is at the moment illegal as a result of health regulations. Nonetheless, recent mangosteen will be found in international locations like Thailand, the Philippines, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Cuba, sparingly in Puerto Rico, and scattered around the West Indies.

Care should be taken when eating a recent mangosteen. The outer rind is quite hard and leathery, and the deep purple-red juice of the rind stains almost anything it comes into contact with. Traditionally, the shell of the mangosteen needs to be broken by hand, not cut with a knife. As the rind begins to crack, the scrumptious internal fruit segments may be peeled away. To enjoy mangosteen to its fullest, one should keep away from the hard, leathery outer shell by pulling the segments out earlier than consuming, as the sap from the shell is quite bitter and unpleasant.

It could be potential to seek out canned mangosteen; nevertheless, it is widely known that by way of the process of canning, much is lost by way of the fruit’s flavor. Within the Philippines, a lot of those who try to protect the fruit will boil them first in a heavy brown sugar syrup.

Other Makes use of of Mangosteen

While the rind of mangosteen is usually used in tanning leather, and the twigs from the bushes are favorite “chewsticks” for those in Ghana, the most well-liked different use of mangosteen is nutritional and medicinal.

From Singapore to China, totally different elements of the fruit are used to treat and heal a wide number of medical afflictions. From dysentery to eczema, it seems that scientifically the mangosteen has a multitude of beneficial uses.

It is believed that much of the reason why mangosteen is such a robust healing is because of its high level of xanthones, which are biologically active plant phenols which might be considerably similar to flavonoids. While most fruits include xanthones, the mangosteen seems to encompass not less than forty of the at the moment discovered 200 types of xanthones, making it incredibly rich in its nutritional properties. Indeed, it is somewhat of a “wonder fruit,” in that it is the only fruit as yet known to science to include such a high percentage of xanthones.

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