Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 236

Mangosteen: As my readers know by now, I love finding new fruits and vegetable to try for the blog. Not only are they healthy, but they're usually pretty inexpensive and easy to find. While browsing the produce section at the Buford Highway Farmers Market, I noticed something that I'd seen there before but never gotten around to trying: mangosteen. Despite the name, it looked nothing like any mango I've tried. It was also rather expensive ($6.99/lb!), but a nice lady shopping close by saw me examining them and told me that they were "really good for you," and I should try. That was all I needed to hear, so I selected a small one and threw it in my basket.
I wasn't sure how long these things stayed fresh, so I decided to give it a try this afternoon. It was about the size of a small plum, with a hard outer shell and a woody stalk on top. I wasn't even sure how to eat it, but some online instructions advised me to break open the outer shell and eat the small, juicy pieces inside. It took some work with my knife to break the tough exterior, but once I did, I saw the little edible pieces waiting for me.
I carefully scooped out the interior with my knife, and each tiny section looked like a clove of garlic. Despite it not yielding much edible fruit, it had a bright, fruity berry-like taste that reminded me of pomegranate or lychee. I devoured all the juicy pieces quickly, and wished I'd bought more. Too bad these aren't less expensive.
So, what are mangosteens, exactly? According to Wikipedia, they're actually a fruit that comes from an evergreen tree that allegedly originated in the Sunda Islands and Indonesia. And, the lady at the market was right - the fruit is used in many health supplements and juices.

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