How to Eat a Mangosteen


A mangosteen is a small fruit grown on evergreen trees. They are grown mainly in southeast Asia. They are purple when ripe and about two inches in diameter. Mangosteens have become available in the United States since a ban against them was lifted in 2007. Since this is fairly recent availability, many have not yet had the joy of eating one. It's not hard to learn how to eat them the right way.

  • Pick fruit that has a firm outer rind. If you can’t find a mangosteen in a regular grocery store, you may be able to find one in an Asian market.

  • Notice that the bottom of a mangosteen has petals. The number of petals indicates the number of fruit segments inside. This is usually four to eight.

  • Slice around the middle of the mangosteen. Slice halfway between the top and the petals. Slice only through the skin and not into the fruit underneath.

  • Open the mangosteen into two segments. The white edible fruit should be contained in only one segment. It will look like a cluster of garlic cloves.

  • Eat the small segments with a fork. Be careful not to get juice from the purple rind on your clothes because it can stain.

Tips & Warnings

  • Canned mangosteen tastes much different than fresh.
  • To serve mangosteen attractively, cut a band around the middle. Remove about a half inch band of skin. Leave a small amount of flesh underneath. Cut through the remaining flesh in a zigzag pattern all the way around before opening up the mangosteen.
  • Mangosteen is the national fruit of Thailand. It is known as the “Queen of Fruits” because it was a favorite of Queen Victoria.
  • Don't consume a mangosteen if you have doubts about its freshness.

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