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What Is a Mangosteen?

Whole and cut mangosteen.
Mangosteens.
Unripe fruit growing on a mangosteen tree.
Mangosteens may last longer if kept in a refrigerator.
The mangosteen grows in southern India.
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  • Originally Written By: L. S. Wynn
  • Revised By: Bott
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2014
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The mangosteen is a round, purple fruit slightly smaller than a tennis ball, but it has absolutely nothing to do with a mango—a mangosteen is not known to taste anything like mangoes, nor does it look like one. The fruit originated in Malaysia and grows on trees in warm climates, but it is difficult to grow due to its temperamental nature. It has a sweet taste while being slightly sour at the same time.

Where they are Grown

The mangosteen grows on small evergreen trees in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and southern India. Some farmers are trying their luck in Hawaii and the Caribbean, but the fruit is generally difficult to grow. It is said that Queen Victoria offered a sizable prize to anyone who could bring an edible mangosteen back to England, but no one was able.

Most mangosteens are currently not available or grown in the United States because the rind can carry pests that would threaten other crops; the only mangosteens legally allowed to be imported to the United States mainland are those from Hawaii or Puerto Rico. The fruit can be legally imported to Canada, and can also be found in Europe and parts of the Mediterranean. Canned mangosteen is also an option, but for most people, the flavor does not even seem to resemble that of the fresh fruit.

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How it's Eaten

To eat it, one can crush the brittle, yet moist, rind with the palm of the hand to reveal the pure-white fruit inside. The bitter rind is inedible, and the fruit comes in the form of variously sized wedged segments, similar to garlic, but the largest mangosteen wedge may hold a solitary, bitter seed that is not usually eaten. The number of segments usually varies from four to eight, which is matched by the number of points on the protrusion from the underside of the fruit; therefore, it is easy to know how many pieces of fruit are inside before opening it. Usually, the fruit can be kept at room temperature for up to one week, but it may last a few days longer if kept cold such as in the refrigerator.

What it Tastes Like

Many people say that a mangosteen does not really taste like anything else they may have eaten, so it's best not to take comparisons too literally. The fruit is known to be sweet, but tempered with a very slight sourness. The mangosteen has flavors that range from strawberry, peach, to vanilla ice cream.

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Discuss this Article

anon283457
Post 54

Mangosteen is a great antioxidant and is a great source for shedding the chemical waste accumulated in human body due to chemical reaction that takes place inside the body.

anon268364
Post 53

I just bought a 4ft tall mangosteen sapling from Thrissur in Kerala, South India and planted it in my farm house in Bangalore. I paid 400 Rs.(8 $) for it. The foliage is so beautiful. The sapling holds the pride spot in my garden. Glad I could get my hands on this wonderful plant.

anon145086
Post 48

i bought a dozen of mangosteen at the mercado municipal in sao paulo for $7 last year. it was delicious.

Mandura
Post 47

I have a house in South Thailand and around my house we have Mangosteen and Durian, the real Queen and King of fruit. It tastes like heaven.

Thank you for this great website!

anon127155
Post 46

I live in Muscat, Oman. Our local supermarkets have loads of mangosteens, plus starfruit, durian, mangoes, lychees, and every other kind of wonderful fruit not available in the US. Food shopping heaven! I would agree, mangosteens are up there with the very best fruits.

anon124067
Post 45

Lancetilla botanical gardens in Tela Honduras, planted by the United Fruit Co. years ago, reportedly has the the largest grove outside of Asia. We would eat them by the bucket load as kids. "Underexploited Tropical Fruit with Promising Economic Value", gives info on them. Almost impossible to root from cuttings, exacting weather and soil conditions, years to mature, and short shelf life are limitations. E. R. Ostmark

anon123379
Post 44

please, please can anyone supply me with a mangosteen plant?

anon110978
Post 43

Ate my first mangosteen yesterday in Kinshasa, really something very different and really tasty. Bought like five here for under a dollar.

anon91193
Post 42

I just bought fresh Mangosteen in Chinatown, Philadelphia. Incredibly fresh and reasonably priced at $7.99 per pound.

anon89797
Post 41

We are from India related to state of Punjab. We got this content from a drink named Mcdowell branding Diet Mate whisky showing blended with garcinia extract. We got knowledge from net engine that Garcinia is most beneficial for health. We recommend this type of drink having such valuable health nutrition elements may be used as a tonic. Bhatty Bar, Advocates

Dist Courts Bathinda, Punjab, India.

anon85982
Post 39

Mangosteen is actually a fruit one should taste before leaving this world. i just love it.

anon75846
Post 38

I need to know how to grow and process mangosteen fruit in South India. I know of a large plantation available for this project.

i have eaten the fruit many times. the rind we threw away, not knowing that it is the rind which has all the good effects. the taste was terrific, more like lychees and a mild orange or lime. could not figure it out.

anon73081
Post 37

I live in Bowling Green, MO. Where can I buy Mangosteens?

anon71881
Post 36

I live on Maui and planted my four mangosteens 20 years ago. My first real crop was last year. I sell these off the Hana highway on Sundays when I have them. This year doesn't look too good, but next year will be better.

anon70717
Post 35

Its available in India at upmarket grocery shops as well as supermarkets like Spencers, Niligiris.

It tastes really good sort of like Lichis with a tang of lemon. But it's too expensive.

anon70550
Post 34

i live in kailua kona, hawaii. Can i get this fruit here. and if so, where?

anon68351
Post 33

Where can I get mangosteen in India (State: West Bengal; City: Kolkata) and in what local name is it available in India (State: West Bengal; City: Kolkata)? Tell the name if possible in Bengali language. Please help.

anon65820
Post 32

I live in India, Gujarat state, city Vadodara. i have a question: is this fruit helpful in curing pollen allergy? we don't have this fruit available in my city so how to get this fruit and from where?

anon65603
Post 31

The mangosteen has the highest antioxidant ORAC value of any of the fruits! Please make sure when buying any of the mangosteen juice's that you buy one that includes the "peri-carp" (outside rind) This is where "the good stuff" is at. I order Vemma. It has the mangosteen as a whole, not part or just juice.

anon62750
Post 30

Mangosteens are very popular in Vietnam. I had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

anon62179
Post 29

We do have a lot here in Vietnam; it is very tasty and sweet. but if you want all the benefits of the xanthones and antioxidants, you'll have to make tea with the purple rind (exocarp) of the fruit. you can still eat the pulp though.

anon33242
Post 27

I just got back from Vietnam, which is overflowing with mangosteens...and have heard that they are now available in the US from a grower in the Caribbean. They are truly the fruit of the gods...indescribable!

anon16910
Post 25

In response to anon2688, I don't know what can it do but mangosteen juices are really popular for dog sprays.

anon16908
Post 24

Why and where is it called the queen of fruits or queen of tropical fruits. The only place I knew where it's nickname was used is Malaysia (during a holiday in Lumut, Perak) for a reason which I do not know.

anon13432
Post 23

Also available in Sri Lanka.

anon13377
Post 22

Where Can/How can I import/ buy Mangosteens or Xango juice in namibia?

solomonh
Post 21

I have got to try one of these? Can you buy them in places they aren't grown??

vinayk25
Post 20

cookycrazy -- I beg to differ very strongly. The best mangos are a variety called "Banganapally" grown in Andhra Pradesh state in South India. I have tasted mango's fram all over India as well as in USA (from Mexico etc). None of them can match Banganapally mangos.

anon8961
Post 18

The mangosteen fruit is available at Kings Supermarket in NJ

anon8896
Post 17

The seeds of this fruit lose their viability 5 days after leaving the pulp, so I would think it wouldn't be possible for them to be shipped anywhere. As for small plants...try getting them through customs. :D

anon7807
Post 16

It's one of the best fruits..I am planning to grow them on my estate..I am not able to find any nursery In India that can provide with the seeds or the small plants..

any advise or guidance appreciated

somerset
Post 15

I just bought fresh mangosteen in a health food store in Kailua on the island of Oahu. I was told they are grown here in Hawaii; these were from Kauai. They were very expensive, but worth every bite.

anon7291
Post 14

In response to Michael about the borum:

Apparently Bor is Konkani (a language in India) for berry and borum is the plural of that. :/

I couldn't figure out what the actually berries were, though I looked a lot.

Some Indian berries I found that might be it:

Indian jujube: round or oblong, about 1/2 inch long and brown colored when ripe - pleasantly acidic when fresh becoming sweeter with ripening

Yellow Mombin/Hogplum: 1 inch long, oval shaped, with golden yellow thick skins and a large solitary seed - has a juicy slightly acidic and sweet flesh

Malayan Mombin: 2 to 3 inches long, oval shaped, with yellow thick skins, and a large solitary seed - has a juicy and slightly acidic flesh

Corky Debbar Tree fruit: 1/4") purple, edible fruit borne in clusters

Alphonso: Characteristically kidney shaped and sharply spicy in flavour. The colour depends on the producing regions and varies from green with a red bloom to yellow with red spots.

tradewindsfruit has some info on exotic fruit as well as crescentbloom

Hope that was helpful. -Sharon

anon6282
Post 13

Mangosteen is also a medicinal plant. It's been used for thousands of years to help with pain and inflammation. You can get the juice that includes the entire fruit from just about anywhere on the market, but the best one is the purest one.

anon5872
Post 12

you can get them freeze dried at trader joes!

jphal
Post 11

There is a local smoothie place in San Antonio, TX, that offers a variety of exotic fruits & flavors. One of them is mangosteen. Yummy!

anon5412
Post 10

i just moved to honduras from New jersey. I have 5 mangosteen trees on my property that just finished fruiting. They are the cutest fruit ever. They kind of hang there like cartoon Christmas balls, ripe for the picking....there were hundreds of them and I ate most of them, sometimes 15 a day! PURE HEAVEN!

anon5208
Post 9

Hi I grew up in India and moved away to Australia when I was 13 in 1969,

We used to get two Berries,

One was the size of a Cherry & had a red skin with Yellow flesh and a single seed also the size of a cherry seed

The other was Green ~ 1-2 inches long and oval shaped with a single elongated seed

Both of these berries were Called Borums by the english speaking anglo indians

I would like to know what is the correct name for these berries if they exist in the western world

Michael

anon4367
Post 8

I agree that mangosteens are definitely the best tasting fruit on the planet. It is sad that much of the world is deprived of them.

I gotta sneak some seeds back and grow em in a greenhouse!

anon3508
Post 7

There is currently a drink you can buy in your local stores. It is a mangosteen juice drink my aunt showed me. It was an odd tasting drink. I have never tasted anything like it, but very different shades of other fruit flavors. It also contains high levels of anti-oxidants. I'm not sure which has more, pomegranates, or the mangosteen. But

would like to try mixing them both =). It should become a staple in the near future. As we move towards natural preventative foods for their properties of helping with all manners of disease and chronic illness.

anon2688
Post 5

I have been given a water solution of mangosteen juice to spray on dogs, does this do anything??

anon2644
Post 4

My family grows Mangosteens in the Caribbean coast in Costa Rica, they grow wonderfully yet take 8 years of growing before they bear fruit, after they will bear fruit, tons of it, once a year. And YES, they are the MOST WONDERFUL FRUIT on Earth... put them on your list of things to do (taste) before you die..

nkiet
Post 2

Where can I buy Mangosteen in Hawaii? Which Island and when is the season of the fruit?

cookycrazy
Post 1

Mangosteens are also grown in the Philippines, the same country that produces the world's best mangoes.

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