How-To Eat a Mangosteen

We’d stopped by Central Market, a grocery store that is a bit like Whole Foods but with some Trader Joe’s and other indie food type stores mixed in, last week to pick up some things for my mom’s birthday. They have a good coffee selection so that was our main goal but while perusing the fruit and vegetable section we spotted mangosteens.

Our first encounter with mangosteens was while living in Florida when Chris began reading about them to grow. They are a super tropical plant that really cannot be grown anywhere in the continental U.S. and even Hawaii has problem growing them. You can read more in detail here about them. Anyway, Chris sent off to Thailand for seeds and he tried to grow them and I’m pretty sure they sprouted, lived a few years, and died later on. Chris says we had a hot and dry spell and they keeled over. Anyway, despite south Florida being known to grow a lot of tropical plants that otherwise might have to be imported like lychees (ohhh, lychees! We found them at CM too!) mangosteens can’t be grown there and we’d never eaten one.

Enter Central Market.

Now, imported fruits can be expensive, but when we saw the price for these fruits we thought long and hard about buying them. They were a pack of 4 for $12.99. Yep. You read that right. Finally we decided that once a year we could spent the exorbitant amount of money for a tropical treat, so we broke down and threw them in the cart with the tiny amount of lychees that were left in the box for sale. We went back a few days later for more lychees.

At home Chris used a serrated knife to cut a ring around the hard outer shell. Inside the fruit resembled an orange, but not quite in texture.

I can’t even tell you how the fruit tastes, it is sweet and mild, really delectable but disappointing in the same bite because you know that once you are done, that’s it. You can’t run out and buy them again because they were the seasonal fruit on sale.

We chilled ours for a bit which added to the taste I think. Most of the pieces didn’t have seeds (though they really aren’t seeds if you read that article linked above) but a few do, so you’ll have to eat around them. They are large and you will notice them, so don’t worry about that.

But then you are done and that’s it. It really is quite sad to think about. It’s too bad they are so expensive, but then again they will make a great treat to look forward to every summer!

Do you have a favorite or rare fruit treat?


  • Katie @KatieDid

    I’ve never seen a picture of one before! I’ve only heard of them in snapple drinks or something like that hah! They look tiny too, which would be a disappointment for that kind of money. But I say try everything once, twice if you like it!

  • Little Brown

    I lived in Thailand in 1974 and 1975 and ate mangosteen then. My housegirl loved them and ate them every chance she got. I thought they tasted good but they were more expensive than the other fruits so I didn’t buy many for myself. I think they cost a quarter back then. My favorite fruit then was mangoes. You could buy superb ripe ones for less than a nickel!

  • Lisa

    Cherimoya!!! That’s my current exotic favorite. Loquats are in season right now, and I have to admit that I’d never tried them before this year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.