www.mangosteen.com

Home Introduction History and folklore Enjoying the mangosteen
Science, non-science and nonsense Photo gallery The early years Flowers, developing mangosteens
Fruit pictures page one Fruit pictures page two Acknowledgements Contact and FAQ

This site is dedicated to Ed Kraujalis, "the mangosteen man." To all who knew him and loved him, he left us all long before his time and long before any of us could believe it. His devotion to the mangosteen fruit and the awareness of its charms meant our paths would cross years ago. I will always be grateful for his patience and earnestness and willingness to provide me with any help he could to help me bring the mangosteen out into the light of day. I think of him every time I am on my farm and see many of the older trees that were from "the mangosteen man." In this way, he is still with us and will be for many years to come.

The mangosteen

Freshly picked mangosteen, "the queen of tropical fruit." David Fairchild, 1903


"Maturi sunt adeo delicati et grate dulces ac optima lansiavel uvae maturae excogitari possant. simulque adeo succosi ut multi vix satiari hisce fructibus possint, ob excellentum odorum gratamque, dulcedinum putaturque, quum aegrotus nullum alium amplius appetat, vel edere possit cibum, hoc delectari adhuc fructu; si vero hunc non desiderati de ejus salute desperandum esse, &c."

Herbarium amboinense, vol. 1

I doubt that I could say it better.

The above praise is a quotation of comments made by the Dutch governor Georgius Everhardus Rumphius (1628-1702) of Amboyna (alternatively Amboina, now Ambon), a  part of present day Indonesia, referring of course to the mangosteen. What he was really trying to say...I don't have a clue but it looks pretty impressive, no? Okay, see below for the translation that was thankfully included in the same article from The Gardeners' Chronicle, No. 22, p. 371-372. June 22, 1855

 

"When ripe the fruit is as delicate and agreeably sweet as the finest lansehs (another famous Malay fruit tree, of which a variety called the Duku is the domesticated representation which ought next to engage the attention of the wealthy) and may even be mistaken for ripe grapes. It is at the same time so juicy, that many people can never eat enough of it, so delicious is its fragrance and agreeable its sweetness; and it is believed that the sick, when appetite or the power of eating has wholly gone, are nevertheless delighted with this fruit; or at least if they will not take to Mangosteens their case is indeed hopeless."

Enjoy the mangosteen.com web site!

Links within mangosteen.com

Home Introduction History and folklore Enjoying the mangosteen
Science, non-science and nonsense Photo gallery The early years Flowers, developing mangosteens
Fruit pictures page one Fruit pictures page two Acknowledgements Contact and FAQ


Link to related site

www.rambutan.com

This is another site intended to provide information on the rambutan.


Miscellaneous links

www.mangosee.com

"moving scientific information to the developing world"

This is a very important organization and one that might have ended up with the mangosteen.com domain if I hadn't already reserved it. But the importance of what they do is too great not to help them to be found. Logo and link with permission to do so.

and...

www.rain-tree.com

This is a gold mine and a true beacon of hope for the Amazon rainforest. So many talk, so few actually do. And this wonderful web site talks and does admirably. There is something for everyone and teachers should be aware of this resource for the knowledge base and projects aimed at informing children and adults alike.

The documenting of the exploitation of the Amazon for its natural wealth is only a part of this large site's content. I highly recommend looking at the plant list on the page http://rain-tree.com/plist.htm and I want to draw your attention to the one on acai because of all the miraculous claims associated with this palm and its fruit. Check out http://rain-tree.com/acai.htm and see if it alters your view of the hyperbole on the net!


Mangosteen and the New York Times

Ive waited so long for this moment, he said in July, savoring the floral,
sweet-tart flavor of one of the most delicious of fruits, and certainly the most
hyped: the mangosteen.

New York Times, August 9, 2006. "Forbidden? Not the mangosteen." by David
Karp


The above excerpt is from an article written by David Karp, an adventurer and
explorer in his own right. This article about the mangosteen (from our farm)
became one more in a continuum spanning over a century; different New York
Times writers and reporters have long embellished tales and gushed over this exotic rarity.

They all shared a common goal; raising public awareness of the mangosteen
for their readership in the Western Hemisphere.

This most recent Karp article updates the chronicle of the slow but steady march of
greater knowledge and access to this exotic fruit, taking it from an esoteric rarity
seen only by those lucky enough to travel overseas to eventual availability in the
American marketplace as recorded by the New York Times.

David Karp aka "The Fruit Detective" spent several days photographing and
gathering information for this article. We walked and stooped and slipped in the
mud day after day and David Karp took any and every opportunity to photograph another
mangosteen. Usually, right after that, we ate them.

Why an article in the New York Times about an exotic fruit called the mangosteen?
Not the first time and certainly not the last. Which see...

February 5, 1878. "The notes of a traveler." By T.W.K.

Writing about "this most celebrated fruit of the East" T.W.K. goes on to say...

"This pulp melts away in your mouth after the manner of a ripe peach or
strawberry; it has a taste which nobody can describe any more than he can tell how
a canary sings or a violet smells, and I know of nothing more forcible than the
statement of a Yankee skipper who pronounced the mangosteen the "bang-upest
fruit" he had ever seen.

or...

August 23, 1925. "Queen once vainly sought fruit US will get."

In this article, David Fairchild (see History and Folklore) is quoted extensively. The hopes and expectations
that the mangosteen would finally reach our shores was stated by the Department
of Agriculture as follows;

"...experiments in tropical America have reached the stage where the regular
delivery of mangosteen to the United States will be possible in about 10 years."

So one can see that the much heralded arrival of the mangosteen is an ongoing
quest, a logistical challenge which gets closer to being a reality every day. Centuries
in the making, we are soon to reach fruition.

Or even more recently... August 8, 2007

"Mangosteens Arrive, but Be Prepared to Pay"

By DAVID KARP
Published: August 8, 2007

This most current reprise updates the current situation regarding the mangosteen as small shipments were made to New York and California. To see the entire article might require that you register with the New York Times online edition. It is well worth it just to see the reception and prices that this fruit has garnered.

I.C.