The Queen of Fruits
Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), locally called Manggis. This is one of the fruit believed to be native of Southeast Asia from the Sunda Islands (Java, Bali, Southeastern archipelago, and Moluccas archipelago). After written by Linnaeus, in his book Species Plantarum (1753), it was introduced into English greenhouses in 1855. The introduction further introducing cultivation in the western hemisphere, starting from Jamaica, and further into the mainland of American Continent, particularly Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, and Ecuador.
This plant doesn’t grow well outside the tropical areas. The ideal temperature for growing and producing fruits is around 25-33̊C, with high humidity (80%). Temperature below the 20̊C will retard the growth of the tree. The fruit will be small and sour. Even in the Philippines, mangosteen doesn’t grow well beyond the Mindanao. Currently, there are private small-plantations in Puerto Rico to supply the demands of specialty food stores and gourmet restaurants in the United States of America.
In Bali, mangosteen is a local favorite. It’s easy to get especially in the early semester of the year, when the rainy season is turning into dry season. It is also cheap and tasty. Some advices in choosing mangosteen are: choose the small ones, they usually sweeter in taste compare the bigger ones; never think that softer skin means older fruits and it gets ugly inside, they usually ripe and taste better; if you get a beautifully green caps, means they were picked when they weren’t ripe enough, remember the wisdom: with age comes the knowledge.
The fruit is pretty easy to store and stay fresh for several days to two weeks from the buying time in the room temperature, as long as they did not get direct sunlight. A pop culture trivia about the fruit: it is called queen of the fruits, since Queen Victoria of England has offered 100 sterlings for a fresh fruit. Anyway whether it’s true or an urban legend, still a mystery.
Happy eating some mangosteen. We hope you find the best ones to savor.
Good fruit, healthy living, NamaStay!