I don’t know if you noticed but it is the high season of the tropically sweet Purple Mangosteen (shān zhú). This fruit is available for the most part of the year but it’s quite expensive and hard to find. Now it’s here in great numbers and you know the rule – when the supply is high the price is low. A couple of weeks ago it was sold for over 15 yuan per jin (0.5 kilo) and now it goes for almost half of that at 8 yuan per jin.
I tried this fruit for the first time just the other day and it’s nothing like anything I have tasted before. The live demonstration and the instructions my fruit guy gave me were really helpful so I thought I’d share them with you here.
First of all here’s how the fruit looks like up close:
The first step is to completely remove the stalk:
Then, hold the fruit in both hand with your thumbs pressing against where the stalk used to be:
Twist the two halves in opposite direction until the fruit opens and looks like this:
The center of the fruit is while and looks a lot like a garlic bulb. That’s the part you eat:
When you buy the fruit, make sure to pick the soft ones. The skin is quite thick but you don’t need the finger strength of a rock-climbing jazz pianist to complete the task successfully. The key is to crack the skin all the way straight from the beginning and then let the twist do all the rest. You can also just use a knife but where’s the fun in that?
Mangosteen has been added to the fruit dictionary. Take with you the next time you go grocery shopping.