I was really excited to pick up a mangosteen in Dubai — it's a beautiful purple fruit that looks like a cross between a turnip and an eggplant on the outside. Crack open its shell, though, and you find this wonderfully luscious white fruit that tastes like a sweeter, softer, honey-coated version of lychee.
Mangosteens are from Southeast Asia — the fruit and bark of the mangosteen tree have been used in traditional medicine for ages. The fruit contains xanthone, an antioxidant thought to be able to treat cancer — some companies market it as an energy drink or a tablet. Some people think it can treat acne, improve joint movements, and boost the immune system, too.
I usually post a recipe, but I really think mangosteens deserve to be eaten alone. But if you're one of those picky eaters who doesn't like slimy fruit, try tossing it in a blender with other fruits, juices, and some ice for a quick power-boosting smoothie.
Every installment of Taste Test will explore recipes, the science, and some history behind a specific food item.
Image via Charles Haynes' Flickr