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We have a fun unconfirmed legend: this fruit was so sought after by Queen Victoria that she offered knighthood to whoever could bring this fruit to her. Thus, the mangosteen holds an unofficial nickname-the queen of tropical fruit.

Appearance & Flavor

This semi-round reddish-purple fruit has thick, leather-like leaves that are smooth and firm. Each fruit houses a bright white flesh with triangular sections that can have several flat seeds. The flesh has a floral smell and has a sweet-tart taste with hints of buttery caramel. Chose those that give to a little pressure, but if they are hard as a rock, they are overripe and will not be good.

Ways to Enjoy

Eat mangosteens raw, dried, canned, or drink the juice. Be careful when removing the flesh from the skin since the flesh has a juice that will stain on contact. Take your next chicken dish to the tropics with this recipe.

Availability & Origin

Mangosteens are available year-round, though they are sparse. They can mainly be found between March and September. They will come from Mexico, Thailand, and Hawaii. They are native to Southeast Asia; Malaysia, Burma, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand.


Uncut in a plastic bag with a partial opening, they will last about two days. After they are peeled, you have maybe a day to use them when they’re kept in the fridge in an air-tight container.