When I saw this package of dehydrated sandorica amidst more conventional tropical fruit items like dehydrated baby bananas at Thai grocery Sugar Club I had no idea what it was, but such ignorance has never stopped me before. The round orange fruit on the label led me to believe sandorica was in the citrus family, but beyond that, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect.
I popped one of the sugar-encrusted orange wedges in my mouth, and was hit with a taste that was slightly reminiscent of orange Chuckles, that is if that childhood favorite were a tad more sour and had a mild chili pepper kick. Despite the familiar flavor, there was something mysterious about this chewy, exotic dried fruit. As I let the sugar crystals melt off a piece in my mouth, I realized that the sandorica was fruity, but not quite citrusy.
A not-so-quick web search led me to Purdue University’s Center for New Crops and Plant products. There I learned that sandorica, also known as santol, is a multilobed fruit also referred to as the faux mangosteen. Apparently it is the “only important edible fruit in the Meliaceae family.” Well, that sure cleared things up for me.
One thing is for certain, sandorica is a lot tastier than orange Chuckles and so much more sophisticated. Just imagine turning to your date at the movies and saying, “Faux mangosteen, my dear?”
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