Mangosteen is a dark purple fruit (white on the inside) from Southeast-Asia, Thailand being one of its largest producers. Although mangosteen sounds like a type of mango, it is actually a very different fruit. Now available at Asian markets across North America, mangosteen is a deliciously sweet and juicy fruit that offers numerous health benefits in the form of antioxidants - both the fruit itself and the skin are incredibly potent disease-fighters. So find out how to prepare this incredible fruit and then go get your hands on some today!
Time Required: 5 minutes
- Shop for fresh mangosteens at your local Asian market. While they can be a tad expensive, mangosteens are well worth the money. Both the white fruit and the purple skin are suffused with disease-fighting antioxidants, anti-radicals, anti-aging agents and cancer-fighting agents. Mangosteens are the size of an orange and have orange-like segments of fruit, though the taste is very different. Mangosteens are a dark reddish-purple and have a rather "cute" cap-like stem. When shopping, look for fruit that is firm and deeply colored with stems and leaves that are green and fresh (see more shopping tips below).
- Using a sharp knife, make a cut around the middle of the fruit (the circumference) of the mangosteen. The purple-red skin can be up to 1/2 an inch thick, so you will need to cut fairly deep.
- Take the mangosteen in both hands and use your thumbs to pry open the fruit. Now you should be able to see the white segments (almost like an orange) at the fruit's center. Remove these segments from the purple "casing" (skin).
- Enjoy eating these luscious fruit segments right away, or use them to make a variety of desserts - from mangosteen sorbet to fruit salad to mangosteen clafouti (see recipe links below this article). ENJOY!
- When shopping, avoid buying mangosteens that have blotchy-looking skin or crispy-brown leaves, as this means the fruit is old. Another sign of overripe mangosteens is a powdery yellow appearance on both skin and stem. Instead, look for consistently rich color and fresh-looking green stems and leaves.
- When cutting a mangosteen, it's best to wear an apron or old clothing, and avoid preparing it near furniture of any kind. The purple juice is so potent, it will create stains that are extremely difficult to get out. In fact, for this reason mangosteens are sometimes banned from certain Asian hotels and other public areas!
- Like oranges, mangosteen fruit segements sometimes have small to medium-size pits. If the pits are small and soft, you can eat them, otherwise it's best to spit them out.
- To get the full health benefits of this wondrous fruit, try juicing the purple skin (this is where most of the health benefits lie). Note that the taste of juiced mangosteen peel is extremely sour and astringent - you will need to juice lots of carrots and apples along with the mangosteen to make it drinkable. I usually just juice a little at a time, otherwise the taste overpowers everything else.
- Mangosteens usually come down in price by a few dollars in the summer months (July-August).
What You Need
- a few fresh mangosteen fruit
- a knife