Plantastic! (Mangosteens!)

drawing by BJK

The mangosteen is the latest exotic fruit to find itself surrounded by a pulpy sea of hype.

First (within recent memory at least) was the pomegranate, which made a huge mainstream splash a few years back, extending its reach beyond the organic health-food niche crowd. Its success was boosted thanks in no small part to an aggressive ad campaign from P♥M, the juice-maker that capitalized on the pomegranate's significant health benefits as an antioxidant and whose uniquely-shaped bottles became iconic of the fruit.

The pomegranate is native to the regions around Afghanistan and looks like an alien hive. The process of extracting the seeds (which are called arils and, along with their encasing pulp, constitute the edible portion of the fruit) makes for a fun date! But the challenge contributes to the high price of the fruit's juice.

Once the pomegranate gained produce-aisle prominence, the next fruit trend was the açaí—another antioxidant-rich fruit common in Brazil and now a key ingredient in health-conscious yuppies' smoothies. The açaí is considered one of the newly-anointed "superfruits," along with the pomegranate and the mangosteen, which is next up in the exotic fruit spotlight.

This latest fruit fad is garnering both serious press and the support of doctors and nutritionists who tout the fruit's high antioxidant value and apparent impact in preventing and treating various diseases, particularly auto-immune diseases like MS, though no definitive research has fully proven the potential benefits. The positive effects appear to be linked to xanthones, biologically active phenols that have been shown to boost the immune system.

I've personally tried the fruit only in its dried form, which I've only been able to find at Trader Joe's. But I'm sure it will become more common as the superfruit's profile continues to grow.

Apparently the fruit has some passionate devotees, some of whom double as Final Cut novices...

XanGo®, made from mangosteen juice, is at the center of a new juice craze! It's a miracle juice!

"A juice that can take someone's pain away!"

Here's one more very peculiar video featuring a soundtrack of Aerosmith:


Anonymous said…
You can mail order fresh mangosteens from Frieda's Specialty Produce: Shop@Frieda's
BJK said…
NO WAY! Thanks for the tip you generous, anonymous mangosteen disciple!

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