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Know Your Elements: Mangosteen

Persevering with our exploration of Southeast Asian substances, we flip our consideration to mangosteen, the “queen of fruits.”


Characteristic picture by hartono subagio by way of Pixabay

As somebody raised by two immigrants from the Philippines, I grew up in a family the place “uncommon” fruits had been commonplace. Nonetheless, I do know that there are a lot of substances from my childhood that could be international to others. I’m sharing my love for these flavors by means of our collection: “Know Your Elements.“ 
In in the present day’s installment, we’re persevering with our exploration of Asian flavors by setting our sights on mangosteen. Concerning the dimension of a small apple, mangosteen has a thick, leathery exterior that when eliminated reveals tender, white flesh. Its taste is barely candy with a contact of tartness, just like the style of lychee. Like every fruit, mangosteen makes a pure addition to culinary dishes, desserts, and drinks alike.

The Origins

Mangosteen’s origins might be traced to Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Burma, and the Philippines. Finally, the fruit made its solution to the Caribbean and elements of North, Central, and South America. A lot of the mangosteen discovered within the Western world in the present day is imported from Thailand, the place the fruit is offered year-round. 
European colonists first got here throughout mangosteen in Southeast Asia throughout the early 1800s. The fruit ultimately earned the nickname the “queen of fruits” as a result of Queen Victoria of Nice Britain provided to reward anybody who might carry her the fruit whereas nonetheless recent because it was recognized to spoil rapidly. In the present day, mangosteen reigns alongside what many name the “king of fruits”: durian.

Cultural Makes use of

Although mangosteen is usually consumed uncooked and by itself, it’s additionally often utilized in candy baked items, salads, drinks, and as a taste in ice cream or sorbet. The fruit can be typically utilized in curry dishes all through Southeast Asia. Around the globe, individuals additionally use the peel and rind of the fruit for its medicinal properties; it’s excessive in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and an important supply of fiber. 

Mangosteen in Drinks 

Curious to attempt mangosteen for your self, or wish to incorporate this distinctive ingredient into your café menu? Like every other fruit, mangosteen pairs properly with iced tea—notably oolong or inexperienced tea. 

Our Iced Mangosteen Jasmine Inexperienced Tea recipe:


1 cup cane sugar 

1 cup water 

4-5 mangosteen fruits, peeled and roughly chopped 

Jasmine inexperienced tea (cooled) 

To start out making your mangosteen syrup, whisk the sugar and water collectively in a small saucepan over medium warmth. Boil the mixture for five minutes. Take away the pan from the warmth and add your chopped mangosteen, mashing all the things along with a potato masher or a fork. Cowl the saucepan with a lid and let all the things steep for half-hour. 
Pressure the combination right into a bowl or a jar. You may add a few of the crushed fruit to the syrup for texture in case you’d like. Now you will have your mangosteen syrup, which you’ll be able to add to drinks as you please! Your syrup might be saved within the fridge safely for as much as every week.  
To make your iced mangosteen jasmine inexperienced tea, add 2 ounces of your mangosteen syrup to 1 cup of cooled jasmine inexperienced tea. Pour right into a cocktail shaker or jar and shake till the substances are mixed. Pour it right into a glass and serve! Garnish with mint, a mangosteen peel, or something your coronary heart needs. 


Primarily based in Los Angeles, Emily Pleasure Meneses (she/her) is a author and musician keen about tradition and collective care. You may often discover her at Echo Park Lake, ingesting a cortado and journaling about astrology, artwork, Animal Crossing, and her goals. Discover her poetry, quick tales, and soundscapes on her web site.


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