Thai mangosteen_featured image2

Thai mangosteen: the tree, the fruit, and how to consume

In the previous article, we already talked about durian, the King of fruits. Now we’ll cover the Queen of fruits, that’s none other than Mangosteen. Mangosteen is one of the unique tropical fruits commonly found in Thailand. You may have heard about how tasty and refreshing mangosteens can be, however without proper knowledge about the fruit, you may regret putting a whole mangosteen into your mouth or turning your favorite t-shirt purple! Since we are speaking from our experience with mangosteens found in Thailand, we’ll talk about Thai mangosteens. Let’s learn more about Thai mangosteen in this article.

Table of Contents

Thai mangosteen trees and fruits

Thai mangosteen_mangosteen tree

If you are thinking of growing a mangosteen tree, this process will take a long time! Mangosteen trees typically only start bearing fruits after 7 years after planting! The tree will only start yielding a lot of fruits after 13 years. However, once the mangosteen tree has reached its peak, you can harvest as much as 60 kg of mangosteens per tree per harvest season. The tree can also live as long as 100+ years! 

Farmers typically control the mangosteen tree’s height to about 4-5 meters for easy harvest. Once the tree starts producing flowers, it will take 3-4 months before the fruits can be harvested.

Mangosteen fruits are round and are purple in color (with green clover and stem on top). The purple shell is both hard and soft at the same time, this is just a protective shell to mangosteen white edible parts!

Thai fruits_mangosteen

What do young/raw mangosteens look like?

Mangosteen fruit’s skin turns dark purple as the fruit ripe, this is when mangoteen fresh turn nice and sweet. Before that however, young mangosteen fruits are green in color and they will slowly turn bright purple before developing dark purple skin.

Thai mangosteen_young

Mangosteen taste and how to eat the fruit

Mangosteen tastes nice and sweet and the taste is oftentimes accompanied by a little bit of sourness. Unlike durians, mangosteens do not have a strong smell!

However, mangosteens are protected by a purple shell which you should beware as it can easily leave color on your cloth. Although mostly washable, the color might be hard to remove as the fruit shell might contain some sap (naturally occurring liquid in the fruit with sticky texture). While it is not difficult to open mangosteen by hand, cutting mangosteens using a knife is the easiest way to enjoy mangosteen. 

How to eat mangosteens? see the picture below!

While you enjoy mangosteens, do you forget that mangosteens contain seeds behind those white flesh and it is best to spit them out (smaller seeds can be swallowed). Pro tip: big mangosteens tend to have bigger seeds, so sometimes buying small/medium size mangosteens has its own merit! We personally prefer smaller mangosteens.

Thai mangosteen season

If you are looking forward to trying out the Thai mangosteens during your next trip then you should know that Mangosteen is a seasonal fruit. Mangosteen season typically starts from May and last for 4-5 months. In short, the mangosteen season falls into summer and rainy seasons in Thailand. 

We have another article dedicated to Thai fruits and their seasonality so make sure you check it out! (we also have dedicated posts for Thai coconuts and rambutan as well!).

Snacks and food made from Thai mangosteen

Mangosteens taste great when they are fresh, and unlike Durian – there are less snacks and desserts that make use of mangosteens. 

Some of the applications of Mangosteen in snack and desserts include:

  • Application of edible mangosteen flesh: dried mangosteen, mangosteen drink, and mangosteen paste
  • Application of mangosteen purple skin/shell: it contains antioxidant properties and can be used as herbal/medical ingredient
Thai mangosteen_dried mangosteen

Dried mangosteen can be found in local stores or can be ordered online in case you want to bring a taste of mangosteen back home from your vocation!

So, should you try Thai mangosteens?

Hell yes!

Mangosteens are delicious (and they are not to be confused mangoes)!

While mangosteen fruits are easier to eat than durian, you should still follow a proper procedure to remove the shell otherwise things can get really messy.

If you like mangosteens, you should try other food/drink menu made from the skin/shell as well. A lot of the antioxidant benefits from the fruit are found in the skin/shell. 

If you are visiting Thailand during the mangosteen season, be sure to try them out!

Check out other posts about Thailand: