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Photo by Heather Teoh

Mangosteen

Known affectionately as the “queen of fruits,” the mangosteen is native to Southeast Asia and bears fruits the same time as the “king of fruits,” the durian. It has a round purple, woody shell that, when carefully squeezed open, will reveal segments of white juicy and sweet flesh. Be careful when opening the mangosteen. The juice of the skin can stain your clothes for good!

Mangosteens can be eaten fresh or included in desserts. Its sweet flavor has a citrus touch to it and has been described as a cross between a strawberry and a grape.

Legend has it that Queen Victoria of England was told about the mangosteen and decreed to bestow knighthood upon anyone who could bring her the purple fruit. Unfortunately, all efforts failed as the journey from Southeast Asia to Great Britain took months, and the delicate mangosteen would go bad before reaching England.

The mangosteen is rich in calcium, phosphorus, vitamins B and C, and powerful xanthones antioxidants. In fact, mangosteens contain more xanthones than any other fruit! It also contains a good amount of magnesium, manganese and potassium. Mangosteens are currently being grown experimentally in warm climates in Southern California and Florida.

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