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FACT: Mangosteens are the Most Delicious Fruit in the World

Just look at that luscious fruit

On a recent trip to Thailand with OUT Adventures, we spent a day at a cooking school outside Chiang Mai. While the cooking school, Cooking@Home, was all-together amazing (really! I never thought cooking Thai food could be so easy…), it was the dessert that they brought out at the end which made me swoon. Mangosteens.

Oh how I love these sweet, sweet fruits.

If you haven’t had a mangosteen before, you haven’t tasted the most delicious thing to ever grace our beautiful planet. Mangosteens are so famously delicious that they’ve been proclaimed the “Queen of Fruits.”

Mangosteens play queen to the stinky durian‘s King. While some swear by the deliciousness of both, my taste buds are ever after the queen. But you’re probably wondering, what do mangosteens actually take like?

Trying to Describe the Mangosteen Taste

I’ll see if I can describe them without being too superfluous – and without using the phrase “tastes like heaven.” But don’t hold your breath.

With a ripe mangosteen, you simply eat the fleshy interior – not the shell/skin. They’re quite juicy so can sometimes be messy (but don’t fret – you’ll want to lick your fingers anyways). Mangosteens taste like a hybrid between lychees, peaches and manna from heaven.

Nothing short of amazing, to be honest. (Sorry…I couldn’t describe the flavor without resorting to hyperbole.)

Mangosteens may be encased in a hard outer shell but that’s just to keep the pure goodness safely within. The best way to eat a mangosteen is to cut down the middle, without cutting all the way through.

You don’t want the fleshy inside to fall apart. Keep in mind that the outer shell is a good centimeter thick in most cases so it’s quite tough.

But the treasure inside is worth the patience in preparing a mangosteen for eating. Sometimes the fleshy interior will have a hard bit – the seed. You can either eat this or not – up to you. But personally I would never waste even just a tiny bit of mangosteen, this god of fruits!

Where to Get Mangosteens

They are a tropical fruit but in all my travels through Southeast Asia, I most often found them available in Thailand and Vietnam. It’s popular to buy them in big bushels.

Because really, once you eat one, you won’t want to stop eating them. Mangosteens can be hard to find outside of tropical climates—but not impossible.

I’ve even on occasion found them at Vietnamese supermarkets in Germany and in the United States. Amazing!

I don’t know if mangosteens have any health benefits, to be honest. But with what I consider the most delicious fruit — nah! the most delicious FOOD — in the world, this is is the one thing I’m always on the lookout for.

When to Get Mangosteens

Mangosteen season usually begins in April or May in Southeast Asia. While visiting Thailand in April, I didn’t necessarily see mangosteens at every fruit stall but it was relatively easy-to-find.

We even sampled it as part of a Bangkok food tour in April.

Delicious Mangosteens

Descriptions of the Mangosteen Taste

Tell me: have you tasted the glorious mangosteen? How would you describe it’s taste? What other exotic or tropical fruits have you discovered on your holidays?

Collecting notes from other friends who love the mangosteen taste, these are the typical qualities everyone mentions in particular:

A Special Kind of Sweetness

Mangosteen is known for its natural sweetness, which is similar to a blend of ripe strawberries and lychee. The sweetness is subtle and not overpowering, making it very enjoyable.

Tangy and Tart

While it is primarily sweet, mangosteen also has a mild tartness, reminiscent of citrus fruits like oranges or tangerines. This slight tanginess adds a refreshing element to its taste.

Creamy and Juicy

The flesh of a ripe mangosteen is exceptionally juicy and has a creamy texture, similar to a ripe peach or a custard. This creaminess contributes to its luxurious mouthfeel.

Subtle Notes

Some people describe the taste of mangosteen as having subtle hints of peach, pear, and vanilla. These nuances make it a multi-layered and intriguing fruit.

Floral Aromas

Mangosteen has a delicate, floral aroma that adds to its overall appeal. Some compare its fragrance to a combination of rose, lavender, and tropical blossoms.

Slight Bitterness

The fruit’s edible inner part is sweet and creamy, but there is a slightly bitter taste in the rind or skin. However, the bitter component is usually not eaten, as it surrounds the delectable flesh.

Overall, mangosteen is prized for its balance of sweetness, tartness, creaminess, and subtle complexities. It’s often considered one of the most delicious fruits in the world, and its unique flavor is a true culinary delight.

I’m obsessed and if you get to try a mangosteen in its natural habitat during its natural mangosteen ripe season, trust me when I say you’ll be in for a real treat!

  1. Tiffany says:

    I’m going to have to try this when I go in a few days! Thanks for the rec, because I’ve seen pictures of the fruit in others’ travels but had no idea what they were.

    • Adam says:

      Tiffany – you are in for such a treat! Mangosteens are SO YUMMY! Make sure you try them while you’re in Southeast Asia!

  2. That you just wrote an entire post on mangosteens has made my day complete!

    • Adam says:

      Hahah… I couldn’t get enough of them when I was there a few weeks ago. I have a slight obsession :)

  3. Mindy says:

    I think you’ve described the taste of them perfectly! The texture is like pillows, or fluffy clouds. Sublime is a word that comes to mind. Just be careful not to eat them near any white cloth – that will certainly get stained pink!

    • Adam says:

      Ah yes – I forgot about their propensity to stain things. One of the hotels I stayed in at Phuket said no mangosteens were allowed – I was heartbroken!

  4. Oh how I miss the fruit from SE Asia!! I think I only had mangosteen a few times but you are right, they are amazing!

    • Adam says:

      Mangosteens were so amazing! I only discovered them near the end of my first visit to Southeast Asia so it was top of my list when I revisited again last month :)

  5. Amanda says:

    OMG, someone else who shares my love (okay, obsession) with mangosteen!!!! SOOO GOOOOOOD.

  6. Alex says:

    Okay I can’t say I share your obsession (I enjoy them greatly but I wouldn’t put it in the <3 category) I have to agree with you on the cooking class… such a fun activity in Thailand! Loving your coverage of this trip!

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  9. I have only tried them once. I think maybe they were not ripe, because they were so hard that I had great trouble getting into them and they didn’t taste that great. Your post has renewed my interest though. I will try them again. :)

    • Adam says:

      Weird – well, you’re not supposed to eat or bite into the outer shell – you have to cut them open. The inside should be gooey and fleshy and DELICIOUS.

  10. Jo says:

    I must agree with you that mangosteens ARE the best! Reminds me of the time we went to Vietnam and got a bag off the side of the road. We left it in our hotel room and went out, when we got back, there was a thick line of ants coming in from the window into the bag of mangosteens. I guess they agreed it was the best too!

    • Adam says:

      Hahah funny story Jo – I ate them by the bag as well but I don’t think I ever left them alone. From the grocery to my belly in under 10 minutes every time!

  11. donron says:

    ABSOLUTELY AGREE Mangosteens are wonderful. They are very hard to find outside of tropical areas like SE Asia. … and then if you do find them it’s often a disappointment because they are just not in good shape, possibly been frozen for shipping. It turns the flesh mushy & ruins the flavor. But if you find a good one, it is indeed the best flavor ever. Two other tropical fruit to try are Guanabana (aka Soursop) often made into blender drinks because the flesh is a bit fibrous, but with a wonderful flavor. Also try Rambutan, similar to Lycee but I like them better… not sure if that’s just ’cause they’re prettier! Some of these can also be found in Central/South America. Enjoy!

  12. Jarratt says:


  13. Vinod says:

    I’m from the west coast of India, and mangosteens are a vital ingredient. And not for the flesh – delicious, though it is. We dry the skins and use them instead of tamarind…makes a superb fish curry!

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