Prolonged drought and high temperatures have been present on the Island of the Gods for quite some time. Such weather could not go unnoticed for mangosteen, one of Bali's export commodities. The fruit has become deformed, and the skin is covered with spots.
Mangosteen is referred to as the "queen of fruits" here. Currently, farmers are watching the sky, anticipating a change in weather daily, while exporters still hope to sell the high-value harvest to China. In the pre-COVID year 2019, Bali earned the title of the "Best Mangosteen Exporter," selling 9,000 tons annually abroad.
The Bali Mangosteen Producers Association, led by Jro Putu Tesan, owner of the "Raja Manggis" business, believes that if the fruits are only supplied to the local market, their price will sharply decline. Despite the reduced export quality due to weather conditions, there is still an opportunity to improve the quality of the harvest, according to Jro. Mangosteen trees require constant watering and spraying, so the association is requesting additional equipment from the government in the form of water pumps for plant irrigation.
The mangosteen season usually runs from February to March, but in some regions, it can be from October to December. This year, the mangosteen harvest has started in Bali in the Jembrana and Buleleng regions, as well as in neighboring Lombok and other islands of the West Nusa Tenggara archipelago. Market prices currently fluctuate between 20,000 and 60,000 Indonesian rupiahs.
Choosing a ripe fruit is not difficult. The fruit's skin should slightly yield to pressure, but not too much, as mangosteen is a relatively firm fruit. The color ranges from purple-brown to dark purple. The leaves should be green, and if the fruit is cracked and hardened, it is spoiled.
Mangosteen trees bear fruit once a year, so while walking through the market, do not miss the chance to purchase this unusual fruit. Its taste is a true blend of pineapple, strawberry, peach, and grape. For those who have not tried it yet, it is recommended to do so, as you will discover remarkable new flavor nuances.