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Mangosteen is a tropical fruit that is in season from May to September. It is widely grown in the eastern, central and southern parts of Thailand; especially in Chanthaburi, Trat, Rayong, Nonthaburi, Chumphon, Ranong and Nakhon Si Thammarat. Because of its unique crown and delicious taste, mangosteen is considered the "queen of fruits."

The fruit has thick reddish-purple rind, with a green petal-like crown. The juicy, white pulp is made up of segments of varying sizes. There are usually between 4-8 of them. The number of hard brown petals at the bottom of the fruit indicates the number of segments. Among the pulp segments, only one or two are big and have almond-like seeds.

Good mangosteen has white pulp.

Any size mangosteen can be good as long you pick the right ones. Most people select mangosteens by pressing on the fruit, which may create bruises on the rind and upset the fruit vendor. It's better to choose mangosteens by looking at the appearance and weight.

Here are some pointers on how to select good mangosteens:

Mangosteen Colors

When the fruit starts to ripen, the rind turns reddish-purple. At this stage, the mangosteen has a sweet and sour flavor and can be stored longer than ripe ones, which has dark purple rind and is sweet.

As mangosteens ripen, the rind changes from green, to red and purple.

Mangosteen Stems

Select the fruits that still have fresh, green stems. Dry stems indicate that the fruits are old.

Skin Appearance And Feel

Good mangosteens have firm but flexible rinds.

Avoid the ones with cracks and bruises on the skin, since it's likely they have fallen from the trees, and are generally bad. In addition, bruising causes the skin to harden.

Mangosteens that have smooth, shiny skin have usually been sprayed with chemicals. On the the other hand, fruits with brown stains are often organic and sweet.

Hardened yellow drops on the skin is dried-up sap. They have no negative effect on the pulp. However, if the sap enters the fruit, it often spoils the pulp and makes it inedible. Unfortunately, it's difficult to know before opening the fruit.

Here you can see what bruised mangosteens with yellow sap look like.
Fallen mangosteens often crack and get bruised. This causes yellow sap to leak out.


Select fruits that are heavy. Light fruits are often old and have dry meat.

It's a good idea to sample the fruit before you buy it. Fruits from the same batch are usually of the same quality. However, in Thailand it's quite common that different grade fruits are mixed at the markets. Therefore, it's worthwhile to check out several fruit stalls and buy from the best one.

Suggested Reading:   Pineapple Selecting Tips   Fruit Buying Tips

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