Aside from the markets that sweep you in and tempt you with colors, sounds, and flavors, Bogotá also offers smaller carts around the city. These carry anything from chopped up green mangoes with lime and salt, to piles of peaches, grapes, and the lovely mangostino, or mangosteen in English. It’s purple skin calls one to at least ask its origin, how it’s eaten, what it tastes like.
Mangosteens grow in Southeast Asia but also in tropical places like parts of this beautiful country (i.e. – Colombia) where one can’t help but buy a bagful when crossing them on the street or in the fruterias (fruit markets). They are about the size of a racquetball and their tough purple exterior cracks under pressure, giving way to a beautiful white nest of seeds that halfway melt in your mouth. The taste is nothing like a mango, as its name implies, and can be described as citric but sweet, perhaps closest related to a lychee in both texture and taste. As the seed explode in your mouth, you’ll be devouring more in no time.
Not surprisingly, mangosteens are known as ‘power fruits’ due to their high content of antioxidants. A quick browse through google will show health food stores including them in juices, drops, and other forms. However, I prefer to enjoy their juicy goodness in natural form.
What fruits do you like?