What Does A Mangosteen Taste Like? How To Use Them In Cooking

What is the best fruit in the world? People might have different opinions on this topic. Some say antioxidant-rich fruit like apple or orange because it has a versatile taste and amazing health benefits. Some choose more exotic fruits like Pitaya or lychee due to their unique tastes.

Whichever your choice is, there is a type of fruit honored as “the queen of fruits,” officially called Mangosteen. So if this is your first time hearing about this fruit, find out what does a mangosteen taste like and how to use my favorite fruit in this post!

What Are Mangosteens?

What Are Mangosteens

Mangosteen is one of the most exquisite tropical fruits. It might not be the most favorite fruit to Americans, compared to typical western fruits, but Mangosteen has gained a huge reputation and long history with farmers, explorers, and even royalties since the 1800s.

It seems like the fruit’s history started when the European colonists came across a strange purple fruit in Southeast Asia, which has a complex flavor ranging from lychees, strawberries, pineapples, to ripe peaches flavor.

However, this exotic fruit had such a short duration for shipping overseas that it became one of the most wanted fruits. It is said because of the rarity of Mangosteen, anyone able to bring the fruit to Queen Victoria would be granted a knighthood. Although this claim is questionable, it is a reasonable explanation for the title as “the queen of fruits.”

What makes the fruit popular as an exotic fruit is not only in its distinctive flavor but also in its rareness. It is too unstable to be shipped worldwide. This is possibly the reason why many people haven’t heard of this amazing tropical fruit.

Here are some mangosteen facts:

As a slow-growing mangosteen tree, mangosteen trees can take up to a decade to harvest. Once the fruits appear, you have to pick them up when they are ripe as they are non-climacteric ripeners, which means they can never ripen after having been picked. Furthermore, fresh mangosteen will spoil under any cold temperature, so it is easily bruised after just a few moments away from the fields.

For such an unstable fruit, many Americans have tried to find new methods in shipping and growing it in their country. What makes them want to have this delicate fruit so badly?

This is probably because of its strange shape and its distinctive flavor. Mangosteen has the size of a tennis ball with a velvety purple exterior. Unlike apples and peaches, which you can eat straight away, mangosteens have a firm and thick cover.

Some people, encountering mangosteen for the first time, have tried to break through the purple mangosteen cover with their teeth, but they never get to the actual flesh of this delicious fruit. The bitter and off-flavor impression of the exterior definitely discourages many people from enjoying the treasure inside.

However, if you know how to open this properly, you’ll find a pearl-colored bit of Mangosteen inside with a beautiful sweetness and flesh texture that reminds you of snake fruit or kiwi fruit.

What Does A Mangosteen Taste Like?

Mangosteens are known for their exotic sweetness that no other fruit can replicate. So, what do mangosteens taste like?

At first, you might think mangosteen taste is similar to mangos because of the similarity in their names. However, if you have tried it, you know that is not the truth because they don’t even come from the same genus! When having mangosteen vs mango obscure comparisons, there is no doubt that mangosteen will be the winner.

After passing the thick and bitter exterior, you will find the flavorsome flesh inside, holding a taste similar to citrus fruits, tart, sweet, and tangy. This can only be described as a combination of cranberry and juicy peach version.

Once you have taken a bite of its meat, the light, juicy, soft, and delicate texture will hit your tongue like a dynamic and melt in your mouth. It is truly an amazing flavor experience you must have on your food journey.

Mangosteens’ flavor range is extraordinary when they are ripe. But does Mangosteen flavor profile different if unripe?

Although mangosteens have a mild flavor, similar to all fresh fruits, unripe ones might not have the same sweetness. Their cover is so much thicker and harder than their ripe versions. The obscure fruit taste also gives a bitter and resin-like taste. Their flesh texture is also stiff instead of soft and juicy. Therefore, it is best that you buy the ripe ones for the best experience.

How To Tell If A Mangosteen Is Ripe

If you don’t know the signs of a ripe one, your flavor experience might not be as pleasant as others. Because of its firm and thick purple color, you might not be able to smell or feel the skin to know if one is ripe or not. so, how to tell if Mangosteen is ripe?

A good way to know is by looking at the discoloration on the Mangosteen’s skin. The one with a deep dark purple color is ripe Mangosteen as it has changed from yellow skin to light and dark purple eventually. Furthermore, you can look at their green cap to spot the healthy ones.

How To Use Mangosteen?

Those good mangosteens with their glossy purple skin are not easy to enjoy if you don’t know the method to crack open mangosteen. Some people have tried to use their knives and cut them in half and failed to put out a well-presented result.

By cutting in half, you will damage the shape of the meat inside along with their seeds. That’s why you need to know the genius hack to cut mangosteens before consuming.

If you are thinking of a difficult trick with multiple steps, don’t worry; it is much simpler than that. To crack open mangosteen, instead of cutting it in half, you need to use a knife to cut around it.

Make a good ¼  to 1/3 inches deep and around the cover. Once you have finished the circle, use your fingers to push two halves apart. With a slight open, you will have one half attaching beautiful white bits of mangosteen.

To consume Mangosteen, you can use them fresh as a dessert fruit or combine them with other complementary fresh fruits for a mixed fruit salad or any mixed fruit dishes. You can also utilize its dominant sweetness by juicing its meat. However, this way can cost you a lot of money since the juice inside mangosteen is as much as lime.

You can also add them to many of your desserts with a little bit of sugar to create an exotic version of your sorbets or ice cream, like the mangosteen clafouti. With its amazing taste, this sweet fruit is the killer for a dessert competition.


How To Use Mangosteen

Is Mangosteen Related To Mango?

As I mentioned above, mangosteens are not related to mangoes. While Mangosteen, which is a native plant of Malaysia, belongs to the tropical tree category, specifically the garcinia family (Guttiferae), mangoes are a part of the sumac family (Anacardiaceae).

How To Choose The Ripe Mangosteens?

Ripe mangosteens are those with a rich and deep purple color and a firm and heavyweight.


With such a complex and dynamic taste of mangosteen, they’ve earned their title as “the queen of fruits” to farmers and royalty members.

After this post, I hope my answer has satisfied your question, “What does a mangosteen taste like?” and encourage you to discover and experiment with this beautiful and exotic fruit in your cooking recipes.

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

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