I remember back in high school, a really good friend of mine would always talk about mangosteen and how much she loved them. She came from India, so she must’ve been exposed to a crazy number of fruits being surrounded by so many countries in Asia. I thought mangosteen was something like a mix between a mango and some other fruit. Silly me.
Mangosteen is actually a fruit with a hard, dark purple exterior with frail, brittle leaves (after they dry out) and a soft inside. It’s nothing at all like a mango.
To get into the ivory coloured “meat”, you have to score around the hard, outer skin and peel it off. Inside, you get this soft textured, slightly sweet fruit with a bit of tartness. There aren’t any crunchy seeds inside of it and it’s a bit fibery, similar to the texture of a persimmon.
It is a fruit that is native to Malaysia, Indonesia and other areas of Asia. Apparently these little fruits are difficult to breed because the rate of growth is extremely slow and the plant is super finicky about weather (it needs a hot, wet climate with fertile, well-drained soil and shade). That would explain why it took so many years to come to Canada and why it’s got a hefty price tag attached to it!
I have personally only eaten the fresh, raw fruit but mangosteen can also be made into preserves too. I can only imagine how good that would be, seeing as this cute little fruit is delicious!
Source | The Oxford Companion to Food by Alan Davidson