Purple mangosteen is a Southeast Asian fruit loved for its sweet, tangy tropical flavor. On the outside, mangosteens are small, round and purple with a cute green cap of stem and sepal. Inside, there are individual sections of juicy tropical fruit that are delicious raw or cooked in sweet and savory recipes.
Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) is a rare tropical fruit with a distinct flavor that many find difficult to describe because it is so unique. Mangosteen flavor is sweet and pleasantly floral with a citrusy tang. At first glance, mangosteen fruit resembles a pillowy white clementine, or fruity cloves of garlic set inside a deep purple, pithy rind. Mangosteen has a mild fragrance that’s sparkly sweet and topical.
Ripe mangosteen skin is thick and pulpy with a deep plummy red color. On top, mangosteens retain a bit of their stem and sepals from the mother plant. You’ll know that a mangosteen is ripe when the small, round fruit feels relatively heavy in your hand, the outer peel is smooth, purplish red in color, and yields slightly with gentle pressure from your thumb.
Each mangosteen has five to seven individual fruit sections inside, arranged in a cushy ball of juicy, white flesh. Mangosteen’s rind protects the juicy sections, which pop out easily for your snacking convenience. Each mangosteen has a large, inedible seed in one of the largest sections that resembles a plum pit. Other sections of mangosteen may have soft, edible seeds. Fruit tip: Check out your mangosteen’s bottom and count the tiny petals. That’ll tell you exactly how many fruit sections are inside the mangosteen!
Mangosteen is often enjoyed raw directly from the rind. It is a prized ingredient in Southeast Asia, particularly in Thai cuisine. Mangosteen makes a great snack on its own, but is delicious in salads, juices, desserts, drinks and savory dishes as well! You can pair mangosteen easily with flavors like coconut, lemongrass and mango. Mangosteens have only been available for import to the United States since 2007, after concerns were quelled about an invasive insect potentially tagging along with the fruit. Make up for lost time and try some of the mangosteen recipes on the FruitStand blog!
Mangosteen grows natively in Southeast Asia on a tropical evergreen tree known to reach heights of over 80 feet. Because mangosteens have very particular needs, they thrive only in tropical climates. Today mangosteen is cultivated in tropical climates in the United States and Colombia.
Mangosteen is in peak season during the summer. Depending on where it's cultivated in the world, mangosteen season runs from about April through August.
Because mangosteen hasn’t been available in the US, demand is low. That makes it difficult to find ripe mangosteens in season. That’s why we’re as pleased as passionfruit punch to bring you exceptional mangosteens directly from our small, specialty farm partners.
Whether a mangosteen is certified organic or not will depend on the farm where it was grown. At FruitStand, we only partner with the best specialty farms for exceptional quality of produce. When each harvest is available, we'll tell you whether the fruit is considered organic or conventional.