Sometimes we forget that to a majority of the world, Southeast Asia is still rather exotic and not many are familiar with our local quirks and delicacies.
After all, even Malaysians aren’t familiar with our own exotic local fruits!
Summer is the seasonal peak of fruits like mangosteen and durian, which are being exported en masse. In countries like China, our tropical fruits are quite coveted, so the Chinese will buy them to try out as our fruits also come highly recommended.
Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to eat a mangosteen properly. In a series of posts on Chinese social media app XiaoHongShu (XHS), Chinese natives found the fruit to be underwhelming and disappointing.
This, of course, is because they tried to eat the skin instead.
In the post, the original poster described the fruit as bitter and astringent. They also claimed that it was extremely expensive yet did not taste good at all.
Cheeky netizens were quick to jump in with jokes and teasing at the author’s expense. Some suggested that it’s an exotic kind of “garlic”. Others reminded the author that “the inner white garlic pieces are poisonous”.
A recurring joke
While perhaps it first started as a true struggle of not knowing how to eat an exotic tropical fruit, the ‘joke’ has spread and been replicated by various accounts.
Various users take similar pictures of a full mangosteen with a chunk taken out of its skin, together with increasingly sarcastic captions such as ‘Why do people like to eat this fruit?’ and ‘I heard it’s good but you’re supposed to throw away the inner parts because it’s poisonous’.
However, Malaysians can put down our pitchforks and rest assured that the Mainland Chinese people do actually know how to eat mangosteens properly, and find it a very refreshing and delicious fruit. Many even turn mangosteens into desserts and drinks too!