19 May2005


by Marketman

Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostina) is mg1definitely one of my top 10 fruits on the entire planet. It would be on the menu at my ideal last supper. A native to Malaysia and Indonesia, the picky tree requires exacting growing conditions and is difficult to propagate. In the Philippines, most of the mangosteen harvest comes from Sulu, Zamboanga and Davao del Norte. An estimated 5000 metric tons of fruit is harvested every year, according to the Philippine Department of Agriculture website. What is really stunning about this fruit is the complexity of its flavor. Ensconced inside a thick deep maroon or red peel (that stains blood red) are several cottony white segments (at least one large segment possessing a seed). These segments are sour, sweet, sharp, soft and delicious all at the same time.

At a market recently, the earliest crop of mangosteens (usually in season from June to November but all fruit this year seems to be about a month early) were on offer. I purchased some despite their somewhat small size and they were pretty good. mg2 Perhaps another month or so before the really good stuff hits the markets but these will do for now, thanks. My earliest memory of this fruit was a fairly fancy dinner in my teens. Seated at a formal table, the dishes were cleared away and fruit knives, plates and finger bowls emerged from the kitchen. Next, an enormous bowl (silver, or plate, I think) emerged with several kilos of the most stunning looking mangosteens. I remember everyone just tucking in and the fruit was absolutely delicious and clearly memorable. Few people talked during this part of dessert and the contents of the bowl were completely wiped out.

The fruit is revered in Indonesia and Malaysia and other parts of the region. It is not often seen in the West but some growers in Hawaii are attempting to raise a critical mass in order to introduce the fruit to the U.S. mainland. In Paris, I once spied mangosteens (from Africa?) at the fruit section of Fauchon, the venerable food store, and I just had to buy one as I hadn’t eaten one in over 4 years. It cost about USD4.00 for one piece! But it was worth it! We tend to take mangosteens for granted as they seem to be everywhere during the height of the season. Consistency is tough to achieve so one has to buy several times before hitting mangosteen nirvana. Like pomelos, there is no guarantee that the fruit within is any good. It’s best to taste them. Bring a small knife with you to market, sample fruit from a vendor with a large amount, and if good, buy as much as you can eat. If you haven’t had them lately, try some mangosteens and savor one of the most complex and delicious fruits the tropics has to offer. If you want to read more, David Karp wrote an effusive article on mangosteens in the July 2003 Special Produce issue of Gourmet Magazine.



  1. schatli says:

    This fruit is precious to us when I was young we used to eat when somebody arrives from Zamboanga.
    But I had a feast of mangosteens when I was in Indonesia
    had the evidence, shorts and shirts badly stained but we
    kept them…
    Its available at some gourmet shops in Europe but with
    unbelievable price.
    I will be off to west Norway soon, no blogging I think
    then am off UK.

    May 19, 2005 | 7:15 am


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  3. Sam Santamaria says:

    Do you know if Dean & DeLuca carries the mangosteen?

    May 28, 2005 | 12:22 am

  4. Marketman says:

    Sorry Sam, I missed that question a month ago! Yes, I do think that Dean and Deluca does occasionally have the fruit. I read an article in Gourmet about Hawaiian based growers of the fruit and their small but prized crops. I suspect that if anyone has them in NYC, it would be Dean and Deluca. I have also seen them in Paris, at Fauchon. They said they came from Africa somewhere but they could have been flown in from Thailand.

    Jun 29, 2005 | 6:34 am

  5. donna says:

    im just wondering coz my father wanted to know more about mangosteen because its good remedy for arthritis…im just wondering how to prepare a good homemade juice or tea from the fruits that we are buying instead of purchaSing commercial juice itself…

    Jul 1, 2005 | 2:48 pm

  6. Marketman says:

    Donna, I have never made mangosteen juice. But I have seen a recipe once for a “chilled mangosteen sago soup with dom perignon champagne” which was first made at the Ritz Carlton Millenia Hotel, Singapore. Sounds outrageous huh… but the basic juicing method is to puree the mangosteen flesh (white sections without seeds) in a blender and they to squeeze out the juice with some cheesecloth. I am guessing that you can mix this with some water to stretch the juice. Good luck and let me know if that works…

    Jul 3, 2005 | 8:34 pm

  7. Tuts says:

    where can i buy mangosteen puree in manila?

    Jul 18, 2005 | 1:28 pm

  8. Marketman says:

    Tuts, not sure if anyone actually sells mangosteen puree. In the recipe I mention earlier, it was made from scratch using fresh fruit… If any readers know more, please comment.

    Jul 19, 2005 | 6:25 pm

  9. mia says:

    I knew I read about mangosteen in this site before. Hard to miss as it’s my favorite fruit. I just came from Davao last Monday and bought about 18 kilos of this wonderful fruit at 25 pesos a kilo (and I’ve yet to encounter one that’s bulok–those who have bought them in a Manila supermarket will know what I mean). I’m in heaven.

    As of today, about three kilos are left. I doubt there will be any left tomorrow.

    Sep 8, 2005 | 11:52 pm

  10. voickle says:

    I understand that presently the U.S.D.A. doesn’t allow the mangosteen fruit to enter the U.S. Anyone looking for the fruit in North America can find it in Canada. Here in Edmonton, Alberta we have the West Edmonton Mall – The World’s Largest Entertainment and Shopping Centre. In that mall is a store called T&T Supermarket ( http://www.tnt-supermarket.com/ ). I purchased fresh mangosteen at a cost of $5.10 for 4 fruit. T&T has stores also in BC and Ontario.

    Oct 18, 2005 | 2:17 pm

  11. palm juneja says:

    where can i find mangosteen in india in fresh form or juice?

    Jan 20, 2006 | 4:21 pm

  12. Marketman says:

    palm juneja, sorry, I have absolutely no idea where you can find mangosteen in India, I don’t live there…

    Jan 20, 2006 | 6:01 pm

  13. edgarallannimo says:

    where can i buy mangosteen tea in metro manila could you help me

    May 6, 2006 | 2:27 pm

  14. Marketman says:

    edgar, I have never even heard of mangosteen tea! However, I did see a stand selling mangosteen juice in the Legaspi market in Makati on Sundays many months back…if other readers know more, please leave a message, thanks!

    May 8, 2006 | 1:45 pm

  15. Gail Klaiss says:

    I am an independent wholesale distributor of the whole fruit of the mangosteen. The company I work with has the only patent on the whole mangosteen, meaning it is the only company that has the rights to use the whole mangosteen in it’s juice. Because of the over 40 xanthones in the mangosteen rind (the dark reddish purple part) the health value of this 100% juice is remarkable! I have been drinking 3-4 oz. a day for 6 weeks. If you would like more information of what it’s doing for my health, email me. If you would like to visit http://www.gailsbiz.com to watch a short video of the man who discovered it and makes it available for children – life age, click on the juice bottle on my home page. Oh, please sign my guest book. Thank you and God bless you! Gail Klaiss

    May 23, 2006 | 11:38 am

  16. Cupcake_diva says:

    For those who are interested in Mangosteen Drink for health purposes, you may email me at fairy.cupcakes@gmail.com for inquiries. Thanks!

    Jul 3, 2006 | 2:08 pm

  17. bebelyn says:

    Edgar, do you want to buy some mangosteen tea..

    Jul 24, 2006 | 10:00 am

  18. miles says:

    The same David Karp just wrote another effusive article on mangosteens in The New York Times. Ah, the things we take for granted… http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/09/dining/09mang.html?_r=1&th=&oref=slogin&emc=th&pagewanted=all

    Aug 9, 2006 | 6:28 pm

  19. Marketman says:

    miles, thanks for that link… an interesting article.

    Aug 9, 2006 | 6:49 pm

  20. nilda says:

    i just bought some mangosteen tea and capsule. You can buy it from Carica.. also popular for Virgin coconut oil.
    Hope this helps

    Aug 15, 2006 | 9:51 am

  21. gail says:

    I’ve been drinking the XanGo for 5 months now and I’m thankful for being introduced to it. Not only does my husband and I drink it daily – the business side is great! http://www.gailsbiz.com Thank you and be blessed!

    Oct 8, 2006 | 8:08 am

  22. tommy green says:

    what is the fruit referred to in the Philippines? I’m wondering if my relatives know of it? Do you know of any native words for it? thanks.

    Nov 4, 2006 | 5:16 am

  23. Marketman says:

    Oddly, I have always heard it referred to as mangosteen, or some heavily accented version of the same word… Not sure if there is a local name…

    Nov 4, 2006 | 5:56 am

  24. Florida Baby says:

    From reading this, I get the idea that I can’t get the whole fruit in the US. If anyone knows where I can get this fruit (online or in the US), please let me know! E-mail me at Tinkerbell3277@aol.com

    Apr 10, 2007 | 9:23 am

  25. Marketman says:

    Florida Baby, I understand that there are growers in Hawaii and if I am not mistaken, U.S. Virgin Islands or something like that where mangosteen is being raised…I suspect it will be in gourmet markets before long…

    Apr 10, 2007 | 10:03 am

  26. ravichandran says:

    message in reply to Palm junejas enquiry.
    Mangosteens are grown in the southern part of india

    Jun 17, 2007 | 1:42 am

  27. Cynthia says:

    Hey people,

    If you are CRAVING like me and willing ot pay the price…. you can BUY FRESH MANGOSTEEN fruit online (legally)at:



    Aug 17, 2007 | 6:15 am

  28. paul says:

    is it possible to buy in Greece mangosteen et where ?
    Thank you

    Oct 29, 2007 | 7:25 pm

  29. Rene says:


    The manogsteen or mangistan is very difficult to export from southeast Asia to the rest of the world. We at XanGo LLC managed to use the whole fruit puree into a juiceform. Visit my website or email me. We can send bottles throughout the whole world.

    Jan 12, 2008 | 2:19 am

  30. Ganen says:

    Dear Friends,

    We have manogsteen. Any one want to be buy manogsteens from us, please contect my e-mail at :iceganen@yahoo.com. We have high quality manogsteens to export. manogsteens is good for health. Cheers.

    Jul 28, 2008 | 7:52 pm

  31. Lixmila Serrano says:

    I require a few bottles of Mangosteen Juice. I am located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Can you link me to your distributor at West Edmonton Mall area? Thanks.

    Nov 19, 2008 | 12:50 am

  32. Joanne Alvarez says:

    my mom’s doctor require her to drink mangosteen juice, aparently its hard to find in the supermarket, can you please help me to link distributor here in the philippines?

    Nov 27, 2008 | 9:51 am

  33. zan cua says:

    hi, i’ve been searching online how to avail of Xango mangosteen juice. I’ve tried connecting to the website of gail but server cant find it. Could you please give me a number or place where i can buy it (its for my friend with cardiomyopathy) and also since i heard that its the rind that contains the xanthones,can i make the juice myself? and how? thanks for the help…

    Mar 23, 2009 | 11:18 pm


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