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Last updated: July 27, 2023
What is a mangosteen fruit, and how should we cut and eat it? This guide explains everything you need to know about eating the tasty mangosteen.
Mangosteen, a somewhat mystical fruit for many, is known for its rich flavor and unique appearance. But as delectable as it may be, the art of eating mangosteen isn’t necessarily intuitive to all.
Indeed, you might find yourself a bit puzzled as to how you should approach this round, dark purple enigma.
In this article, I will discuss what a mangosteen fruit is and how best to cut and eat it. I will also share some of my favorite tips for selecting, storing, and using this exotic treat.
What Is Mangosteen
Before we talk about how to cut and eat mangosteen, let’s first get to know this delicious tropical fruit a little better.
Mangosteen, scientifically known as Garcinia mangostana, is a tropical fruit widely celebrated for its exquisite taste and high nutritional value.
This fruit hails from Southeast Asia and has been part of the region’s diet for centuries. Today, mangosteen is also available in tropical regions outside Asia, such as the Caribbean and South America.
Because of its bright color, the fruit is also often called purple mangosteen. Due to its potential health benefits and delightful flavor, it’s often referred to as “the queen of fruits”.
A fully mature mangosteen is round and typically measures between 2 to 3 inches in diameter. It boasts a thick, dark purple rind that is smooth to the touch.
The skin houses the fruit’s white flesh, which is divided into segments akin to a tangerine. Inside each segment, you might find one or two seeds, but some segments are entirely seedless.
The flesh is where the taste magic happens; it’s incredibly sweet, slightly tangy, and highly refreshing.
When is Mangosteen Ripe
Determining the ripeness of a mangosteen is an interesting task. Unlike many fruits, the skin of the mangosteen does not significantly change color as it ripens.
Instead, you should look for a uniform dark purple color and a slight give when gently pressed. Overripe mangosteens will feel too soft and may have a fermented smell.
How to Store Mangosteen
Storing mangosteens requires some attention. They are best stored at room temperature and consumed within a few days of purchase.
If you need to keep them for a longer time, storing them in the refrigerator can help prolong their shelf life. But be aware that excessive cold can lead to a loss in flavor and texture.
There’s more to mangosteen than just its luscious flavor, as the fruit is also packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants. It’s also surprisingly low in calories compared to many other fruits.
It’s an excellent source of Vitamin C, folate (B9), thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), manganese, copper, and magnesium (source).
How to Eat a Mangosteen
Before enjoying fresh fresh mangosteen, you need to know how to cut and prepare this fruit. Luckily, this is a reasonably straightforward process.
Steps to cut and eat mangosteen:
- Rinse the mangosteen thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt or residue.
- Hold the mangosteen firmly on a flat surface with the stem side facing upwards.
- With a sharp knife, carefully make an incision around the top half of the fruit. Be sure to cut deep enough to penetrate the rind, but not too deep as to damage the flesh inside.
- Once the incision is complete, gently twist and lift off the top half of the rind. If the top doesn’t come off easily, use the knife to gently separate it from the rest of the fruit.
- Inside, you will see the white fruit segments nestled within the bottom half of the rind. Use a fork or spoon to scoop out the segments, or simply invert the fruit and squeeze gently to pop the segments out.
- Discard the rind and any seeds (unless you prefer to eat the small, softer seeds). Remember, the white flesh is the edible part of the fruit.
Keep in mind that the purple juice from the rind can stain, so you may want to handle the fruit carefully and consider cutting it on a non-staining surface or plate.
Other than that, enjoy the sweet and slightly tangy flavor of the mangosteen segments as a fresh treat!
Whether enjoyed fresh, in a smoothie, or as part of a flavorful dessert, mangosteen is a versatile fruit that can be enjoyed in many different ways.
Mangosteen’s flavor pairs well with other tropical fruits like coconut, pineapple, and mango, so don’t hesitate to mix and match. Whether you’re looking for a sweet treat or a new twist on a savory dish, mangosteen is a wonderful ingredient to play around with in the kitchen.
Here are some mangosteen recipe ideas:
1. Mangosteen Smoothie
Combine the flesh of several mangosteens, a banana, a dollop of Greek yogurt, and a drizzle of honey in a blender. Blend until smooth, and you have a refreshing tropical smoothie to kickstart your day.
2. Mangosteen Salad
Toss mangosteen segments into your favorite mixed green salad. The fruit’s sweet-tart flavor pairs beautifully with vinaigrettes and adds a refreshing contrast to crisp salad greens.
3. Mangosteen Sorbet
Puree mangosteen flesh in a blender and mix with simple syrup and a squeeze of lime. Churn in an ice cream maker for a light, refreshing sorbet that’s the perfect end to a summer meal.
4. Mangosteen Salsa
Mix mangosteen flesh with chopped tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. This unique twist on traditional salsa is fantastic with tortilla chips or over grilled fish.
5. Mangosteen Pancake Topping
Simmer mangosteen flesh with a bit of sugar and water until it forms a syrupy consistency. This can be drizzled over pancakes or waffles for a tropical spin on your breakfast.