I’d never had a mangosteen until I came to China. I had no idea what it was, what it tasted like, or how to even eat it. Last year, during my first summer in Beijing, one of my colleagues at work sent me a batch of these fruits via mail order (I was surprised that they even did that here). Of course, I was even more surprised when I opened the package to find a dozen of these cute and curious looking fruits. Hmm, so how were you supposed eat these things? It took me a few tries, from trying to peel them like oranges to cutting them cleanly in half in different ways. I’d gone through the whole batch by the time I finally figured out my method. I’m not sure if this is the best way to open this fruit up, but it works for me. I’d be interested if anyone reading this blog knows better.
I take a sharp knife and carefully cut around the rind.
I was surprised to see that the fruit has a bright white flesh. And though it may not look like the most appetizing thing, it has a really sweet fruity smell. I quickly peeled off the remaining half of the rind and ate it. I don’t know how to describe it other than an explosion of tooty fruity tropical flavor!
Mangoes are also in season now in a big way, and you can find varieties in different shapes and sizes. I’ve definitely learned to appreciate the slightly different flavors among the varieties and noticed for the first time that there is a bit of a fresh citrusy flavor about them. I’m no super-taster, but I enjoy these as much as the next guy.
I have been eating mangoes since I was a kid and everyone has their own personal preference when it comes to how to eat them. I make short work of these and generally make four clean cuts. One cut for each broad side of the fruit, making sure to follow the contour of the broad flat pit, which produces two lovely large halves. Then I cut along the narrow side, which yields two narrow wedges. I start with the pit first eating any fruit I can get from it. Make no mistake, it’s a messy affair that usually involves eating over the sink.
Now the best part for last is the “mango city.” It’s a pretty well known method, but you can see here how it’s done if you’ve never tried it. You just make a few quick crosshatch scores with the knife, being careful not to pierce to skin.
Then turn the fruit inside out and wham! Sweet and juicy mango!
You can worry about flossing later.