About the Mangosteen (Manggis in Malay)
Regarded as the queen of fruits in Malaysia, the mangosteen is considered as a perfect balance to the rich “heatiness” of the durian due to the mangosteen “cooling” effect.
In fact, the mangosteen has its uses in folk medicine. The bark and skin are used to treat diarrhea, and in Indonesia it is used to control high fever. In Malay term, the mangosteen is called “Manggis“.
Why is Mangosteen loved by Malaysians
The mangosteen is one of Malaysian most beloved fruits. Like the famous durian, the mangosteen is a Southeast Asian native and bears fruit at the same time. Therefore, if you are visiting Malaysia during the durian season which falls between June and August, you can try the mangosteen at the same time.
The outlook of the mangosteen is somewhat peculiar if you saw it the first time. It has a thick woody shell of purplish-black color. The skin of mangosteen is often accompanied by some sticky liquid that you might think it’s poisonous. Because of this, a lot of people may not like its outlook when they see it the first time.
A lot of them wonder how the Malaysian could eat such thing. But the mangosteen is a wonderful delicious fruit in Malaysia. Once you have ripped the skin opened, you can see several segments of the most exquisite juicy white flesh, absolutely sweet and slightly acid and the flesh is the total opposite to its ugly outlook.
Why is the Mangosteen highly priced
Mangosteen trees can only be grown in certain environments. They require high humidity and rainfall and can’t survive in temperatures below 40 degrees or above 100 degrees.
And they’re stubborn. The first fruit may take 8 years or, some say, as long as 15 years to appear the first time.
Their haunting sweetness is not the only thing that makes mangosteens such a hot commodity. The fruit is also one of the highest in xanthones, a type of polyphenol only found in a handful of plants, which has been shown in some studies to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Mangosteens contain at least 68 distinct xanthones-50 in the rind alone-the most-studied of which is alpha-mangostin. They have long been used in traditional medicine in Southeast Asia.
Source: Yahoo News
Mangosteen extract is used in cosmetic and health products
In fact, the soothing, calming and antioxidant effects have attracted cosmetic companies such as Lather, which just launched its Mangosteen & Green Tea Hand Lotion, sourcing fruit from India and Thailand. Mangosteen extracts are also used in Origins VitaZing SPF 15 moisturizer, Fresh’s luxurious mangosteen oval soap and the Super Fruits anti-aging skincare line from 100% Pure.
Naturally, there are also a host of health drinks touting the benefits of the purple powerhouse. One of the newest is Vemma Renew, which uses a proprietary blend of extracts from mangosteen pulp and rind, green tea and aloe vera. Even Lipton and Snapple have gotten in on the mangosteen trend.
Where can you find mangosteen
The mangosteen in Malaysia is cheap and there are plenty of them during the season. Usually you can find it along with the durian at stalls by the streets or in the villages. Even though the mangosteen may seem abundance, it’s one of the most precious fruits in Malaysia due to the fact that it’s difficult to grow.
And when the mangosteen does eventually bear fruit, the difficulty is not over as it bruises easily when transported. Therefore, do appreciate the mangosteen and if you have the chance, do try it.
How to eat mangosteen
The mangosteen can be opened by squeezing gently on either side; if the skin doesn’t pull apart easily, the fruit may not be ripe so wait another day or so. Alternatively, the top third of the fruit can be sliced off, revealing six or seven snowy white segments nestling in the thick pinkish-brown interior.
In short, the mangosteen is one of Malaysia most loved fruits due to its counter balance effect to the durian heatiness. It’s one of the must try fruits when you are holidaying in Malaysia!
Other Fruits in Malaysia That You Must Not Miss!
- Jackfruit (Nanga) – The jackfruit is one of many delicious tropical fruits that you must taste. In Malay term, the jackfruit is referred to as “Nanga”.
- Rambutan – The name of this fruit comes from the Malay word for hair, rambut. It is a particularly apt description, for the rambutan looks like a bright red golf ball covered with whiskery hair.
- Duku – Duku is one of the favorite tropical fruits among Malaysians. Duku is a name in Malay and its botanical family is Meliaceae. Duku is native to Malaysia and is regarded as one of the most delicious of all fruits in Malaysia.
- Sapodilla (Ciku) – The sapodilla might not be a familiar tropical fruit to a lot of people, even for Malaysians, but it is certainly one of the best in Malaysia.
- Starfruit (Belimbing) – As the name implies, the starfruit looks like a five-pointed star when you cut a cross section of this fruit. The starfruit is also referred to as carambola.
- Pomelo (Limau Gedang) – The pomelo is a favorite tropical fruit among all races in Malaysia. It’s available throughout the year. As a result, you can see pomelos in almost all places in Malaysia.