Special Sub-Topic: The Incredible Edible Mangosteen
|What is a mangosteen?|
An evergreen tree. A mangosteen is a tropical evergreen tree that is believed to have originated in The Spice Islands and the Moluccas near Indonesia, although it is grown in several other areas today. Despite the similar name it is not related to the mango.
|The mangosteen fruit tastes most like what other fruit?|
Peach. Most people who have tasted this rare fruit say that it most closely resembles the peach in both taste and texture. It does not, however, physically resemble the peach.
|What is the typical color of a ripe mangosteen?|
Reddish-purple. The mangosteen fruit passes through many color stages from its initial formation though final ripening. When first formed the exterior looks pale green or white and then turns a dark green. During its final ripening stage, which takes about ten days, the color change is rapid as it reddens and finally changes to purple.
|Which part of a mangosteen is edible?|
The inner portion only. The outer portion of a ripened mangosteen is very hard and is not edible. To get to the inner portion, you must score the outer shell and peel it away. Be careful, however. The rind contains a purple dye that can permanently stain clothing and your hands.
|The young mangosteen fruit requires fertilization to form.|
f. Asexual reproduction is quite common in the majority of lower plants and some animals. The mangosteen does not require outside germination or pollination to form and this action occurs naturally.
|Mangosteen seeds are edible.|
t. The smaller seeds are edible and quite tasty. The larger seeds, however, must be roasted to be palatable to most.
|The mangosteen is categorized as a "superfruit" by botanists. Which of the following is not a property of a "superfruit"?|
Are grown worldwide. As strange as it may seem physical appearance, although subjective, is one of the characteristics of a "superfruit". Taste and fragrance, along with physical characteristics make up one of the four required aspects of a "superfruit". Besides nutrient richness and antioxidant strength, the potential impact a food item may have on human diseases is also taken into account.
|Until 2006, importation of mangosteens into the United States has been illegal. What USDA action(s) changed this?|
All three are correct. USDA approval of mangosteens came in 2006 and 2007 in separate actions. First, in 2006, approval came for imported fresh mangosteens from Puerto Rico. A year later, the USDA approved the mangosteen irradiation process and allowed imports from Thailand. It also approved juice imports that year and also allows mangosteens as a nutritional supplement.
|Where in the United States can you buy fresh mangosteens?|
All are correct. Being a fruit indigenous to Indochina, mangosteens can be found in the Chinatown sections of most major cities. Also, many gourmet restaurants and specialty stores have begun to carry the succulent fruit. They can be expensive, though, averaging $50 per pound or more depending on the market (2008 data). If you wish to taste of this fruit more affordably, you might consider buying some mangosteen juice, which is more readily available in major markets or through mail order and the Internet.
|Queen Victoria once offered a 1000 pound bounty to anyone who could deliver her a fresh mangosteen.|
f. This statement is false for two reasons. First, Queen Victoria's request is the stuff of legend and has never been proven. If the request was real, however, an actual reward amount was never stated.
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