Frozen Mangosteens

Walking through (New York’s) Chinatown this evening, I got very excited when I saw net bags of what looked like fresh mangosteens, $6 for about a pound. I was shocked, because I know that mangosteens have only just been legalized for importation from a few disease-free fields, and one of the fancy food stores (Zabars or something) was charging $10 apiece for them this summer. Of course, the fruits all turned out to be frozen solid, due to the importation restrictions, and there was a note on the label to the effect that they must be sold frozen in the US.

I resisted the temptation to buy some, because what would I do with a frozen mangosteen? Are they good eating? Can you only cook with them? What are they for? How can you tell if they’re ripe? I’ve only had the fresh ones once, in Thailand, and they were fabulous, so if these are worth anything, I might make a trip back.