The duku is a not so common fruit that makes its way to the markets in seasons. It is about the size of a golf ball and can get slightly larger. It has a thick pale skin with shinny pips (about 5 - 6) inside and the taste range from sweet to sourish. Opening it is easy, just put one duku between both thumbs and first fingers and press gently. It will just split open to show the edible translucent bits inside. It is not everyone's favourite as the fruits can be slightly sourish and don't ever bit into the seed as it is very bitter. The tree is quite tall and the fruits grow in bunches. I remember my first adventure in the "dusun" (orchard) plucking duku. We followed out Aunt's helper back to her village. When my brothers poked the bunches of duku using a long stick, the fruits came raining down from way up high. Being real city slickers, we were so daft , we were looking up when the dukus came pelleting down. It was a "starry" affair as our faces and heads were bombarded. The country kids had a really good laugh at us. I was only about five years-old then and it hurt a lot. And another advice about the duku, don't let anyone call you a duku, it's not a compliment cos it means you are stupid and as thick as the duku's skin. The phrase is usually used like this - "He's a real duku." I bet the country kids called us a bunch of dukus on that unfortunate day.
Mangosteens are cool fruits. Cool, not as in fashionably cool, but cool as it having a cooling effect on the body. Asians rate food as "heatie" or cooling - "heatie foods are those that warm up the body. Mangosteens have a very rich purple colour and inside the thick pulp are pure white, sweet fleshy pips. There are only 2 fruits in Malaysia that are strictly not allowed into Hotels - the durian because of its strong smell and the mangosteen because the pulp leaves a permanent stain. The fruit has high anti-oxidant properties and the pulp has been dried and processed into capsules. There is even a drink made from the pulp and available in cartons in the supermarkets here, but believe me it doesn't taste all that good. Opening the fruit requires some practise, you need to hold it inbetween both palms and gently press hard and the pulp layer will just break apart. I will not advise you to eat the almighty durian even though it is called the King of fruits but, the mangosteen, YOU MUST TRY it.