The Mangosteen: Queen of All Fruits

Lots of Mangosteen, Courtesy of kylestamper.com
Lots of Mangosteen, Courtesy of kylestamper.com

Meet the Mangosteen

What is a Mangosteen?

A mangosteen is a tropical fruit that grows in Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. Although the root word, "mango" is ever present in its name, the two fruits are very different from one another. Its exocarp or rind is has some of the highest astringency found in a fruit. The fruit or fragrant edible portion of the mangosteen is called the aril which is delectably sweet and tangy, much like a peach and a pineapple combined. Here's one person's description of what a mangosteen tastes like:

”Imagine the best peach you've ever eaten, combined with a touch of passion fruit, a sliver of nectarine and a nip of lychee. Imagine a concord grape's sweet purple essence giving way to the clean leanness of a Granny Smith. Add a squeeze of lime, and a spoon of buttery brown sugar. Stir.”

Jarrett Wrisley


The Queen Victoria Myth and the "Queen of all Fruits"

Despite popular belief, there is no proof that Queen Victoria decreed that Mangosteen be brought to her for her own consumption is a myth as there is no proof, in writing or otherwise of this having occurred. On the most comprehensive web site on Mangosteen, Mangosteen.com is actually offering $100 to the person who finds such proof of this! So far, no one has come forward to reap their reward.

In 1903, explorer David Fairchild referred to Mangosteen as, “the queen of fruit,” and so coined the term that still exists to this day. His reason for doing so was because he thought very highly of it and so wanted to imply that the fruit was regal by nature. It is also important to note that he was, all things considered, an entrepreneur and wanted to capitalize on his Mangosteen enterprise. As far as any one is concerned, the connection between Queen Victoria and Fairchild’s quote is that there isn’t any and so is apparently, according to Mangosteen.com, “internet fiction.”

However, Fairchild does mention in his 1930 book, Exploring for Plants on page 7 he refers to mangosteen for the first time as being, "the queen of tropical fruits." He then mentions on page 18 that Queen Victoria, "once offered 100 pounds to anyone who would bring her one [mangosteen]."

How many Mangosteen is enough?  Courtesy of Jarret Wrisley (theatlantic.com)
How many Mangosteen is enough? Courtesy of Jarret Wrisley (theatlantic.com)

Fun and Interesting Facts About Mangosteen

  • Is believed to have come from the Sunda Islands and the Moluccas of Indonesia and also Malaysia
  • The French explorer Laurenties Garcin gave Mangosteen its name, Garncinia mangostana
  • Is chock-full of anti-oxidants
  • Contain 43 of the 200 or so xanthones which can only be found in nature
  • Are about the size of a tangerine and weighs between 80 to 140 grams (about 3 to 5 ounces)
  • Are anti-inflammatory that also fights viruses, bacteria, tumors, old age, allergies, and lethargy
  • Is mentioned in the annals of Chinese medical accounts dating back as far as the Ming Dynasty (between 1369 A.D. and 1644 A.D.)
  • Is Thailand’s National Fruit
  • Is so highly acclaimed that many people around the world believe that it is the best tasting fruit
  • It takes up to ten years of cultivation before a Mangosteen tree can bare fruit
  • The mangosteen tree produces fruit twice a year
  • Is the fruit of an evergreen tree
  • Trees grow between 20 to 80 feet in some areas
  • In addition to mangosteen being called the “Queen of all fruits,” it is also referred to as “The food of the gods”
  • The exocarp or rind becomes deep reddish purple once ripe
  • Mangosteen trees are “dioecius,” meaning that there are both male and female trees
  • Due to the fact that they cannot be imported fresh, most Mangosteen that are brought in are frozen and are then thawed for consumption
  • Are so rare in the U.S. and Canada that they are sometimes sold at $45 a pound, which comes out to be about $11 a Mangosteen!
  • Currently in the U.S. some notable restaurants are serving Mangosteen in their featured desserts
  • Were rumored to be a favorite of Queen Victoria (just a rumor!)
  • If you turn a Mangosteen upside-down and count its “petals,” it will give you the exact number of fruit segments or “slices you will have upon opening it

Are Mangosteen Superfruit?

As of yet, a “super fruit” category has yet to be established scientifically. However, if one were to be established, it would most likely involve fruits that have an appealing taste and include the following:

  • High nutrient density
  • Superior antioxidant quality
  • Potential health benefits

After much research, the Mangosteen aril or fruit segments by itself do not contain enough nutrients for it to be considered a “super fruit.” However, it is important to note that the pericarp or rind of the Mangosteen is indeed rich with xanthones and so we could consequently extract juices from it and combine the two to make a healthy xanthone-rich drink that would be quite beneficial to us. More research is needed to make any conclusions in the matter. Mangosteen are high in xanthones, but its effect on the human body is still not fully known.

Many so called, "Mangosteen drinks" in the market today are really for the most part processed drinks that contain other juices that naturally have an abundance of anti-oxidants (and a minimal amount of mangosteen juice) including but not up to, blueberry, cranberry, raspberry, strawberry and grape.

I've heard as of late that mangosteen can be purchased for about ten dollars a pound at a Chinatown...I've had mangosteen juice (natural) before and loved it but have yet to eat a live mangosteen (wild caught, I guess). As soon as I do, I will report back! Until then, please enjoy and comment should you taste it before I do!

I'm Way Behind! (Hub 16/30)

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Comments 57 comments

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia

In 1962 I ate an orange in the Lebanon. I can still taste it and have searched in vain for its equal. Apart from that orange the mangosteen is my favourite fruit. Thank you for the hub.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Your welcome, Peter! I unfortunately have not tried it whole just yet, but have tried it's juice as a drink (not a mangosteen drink, by the way). As soon as I do, I'll give you my critique!


Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 7 years ago from United States

I've only had it in a drink mixed with acai berry, sold here under the label Bom Dia, and it's addition to the drink makes it taste like the smoothest heavenly flavor. I can't wait to try the fruit but cannot find it locally. Hopefully, when I visit my son in Hong Kong I'll come across it.


I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s profile image

I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s 7 years ago

This sounds so yummy. I have not tried yet I love lychee's which are hard to find sometime's as well. I will be on the hunt for the mangosteen. I really like the benefits it holds as well. Great information!


Philipo profile image

Philipo 7 years ago from Nigeria

This looks and smells nice. I have not tasted it before. Thanks for sharing.


maven101 profile image

maven101 7 years ago from Northern Arizona

dohn...We had this fruit in Viet Nam...I think they called it bien lai, or something similar...they were very juicy, with a sweet tartness that was unlike any fruit I had ever tasted...Another interesting fruit over there was what we called the sour-sack, a banana shaped green fruit that broke open like an over-ripe cucumber, exposing a green and red pulp that tasted like sweet and sour mix....Larry


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Jerilee-You should have no problem finding one in Hong Kong! If you are lucky and have a Chinatown nearby where you live, you can most likely find it there.

Invictus-Please do try it. The last I heard, the U.S. in being a little less stringent on the laws that prohibited the mangosteen from being imported, so expect the mangosteen to become readily accessible very soon!

Philipo-Many testimonials from people go as far as saying that the mangosteen is the best fruit they ever had! That really is the best compliment you can give to a fruit. I wish they were easier to get...

Maven-I'll find out which mystery fruit you're talking about from my folks, but if you could, maybe you could tell us "mangosteen-tasting-virgins" what one tastes like? You're one of the few that knows! Let me know, Larry.


cosette 7 years ago

the mangosteen has eclipsed the pomegranate which eclipsed the cranberry. we are mainstreaming more exotic food choices, to our benefit. i think next time i am at Costco i will pick up some. very nicely done!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks cosette! I still have yet to try a whole one but promise that I will soon. What I like most about it is that once you cut a perimeter around it, and pull off its top, it becomes a natural fruit-cup.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

Now I just need to found a mangosteen, and I wonder where I can in California :).


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Dohn121- Great informative hub. These days we have lots of exotic fruits in markets.

SweetiePie- It is available in all specialty stores like Whole foods and I think I even saw this juice in Costco.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Yes, cosette said that it's available at Costco and the sites I checked out claims that it's readily available in Chinatown where it's sold at a reasonable price. I have yet to get to Chinatown due to the fact that I am now a transplanted New Yorker.

Thank you for both your comments. I'd like to hear your reactions once you've experienced the Mangosteen in either form!


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Dohn121- I wasn't sure about costco but if it is available then I will check it out soon. Chinatown are always great places and for an inexpensive authentic Chinese meal they may have many choices in one place. Let me know what a "transplanted New Yorker" feels about Chinatown. :-)


taichi4me 7 years ago

The best mangosteen that I've found on the market is a product called Xango and found the product via their site by the same name.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Countrywomen--Yes, I was just going by what cosette said (above). I have to find a Costco nearby or else it's Chinatown or bust! I've been there a gazillion times however (in NYC) but my favorite is the Chinatown in Montreal. Something about their ambiance and the access to the produce and meats that are otherwise banned in the States makes their food taste much better than what you can get in the States.

taichi4me--please check out mangosteen.com Xango is actually under a lot of scrutiny from the FDA right now for making outlandish about their product. I found their infomercial on Youtube and found it a bit sketchy...Wouldn't hurt to look into it I'd say :)


orlandomagic profile image

orlandomagic 7 years ago

Very good article on this exotic fruit, mangosteen!

yeah, Xango is a MLM (multi-level marketing) system which is very popular these days. Just as Noni Juice (Tahitian Noni) and Acai (Monavie) to name a few. Great article.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Oops, I meant to say "outlandish comments" on my previous comment. Yes, Xango is a MLM system, orlando. Xango makes it seem like the miracle fruit we've all been waiting for. Thanks for the comment. I guess you know your stuff! I think one of those bottles are selling for something like $40! And the Acai is an absolute gip!


shibashake profile image

shibashake 7 years ago

Great article dohn.

I love the mangosteen. You have to be careful while eating as the juice can stain your clothing, but the taste is awesome! One of the best fruits around.

I do miss it. Definitely much better than Durians :)


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you, shibashake. I had a lot of fun writing this. I hear that I can buy it in Chinatown (2 hour trip) and think I might just do that. I know this great dim sum place that'll knock your socks off! Unlike you, I have not tried it whole, just as a drink.


Mardi profile image

Mardi 7 years ago from Western Canada and Texas

Do you know if it is available in a frozen form? I have asked around here and it is not available (central and eastern Texas), but maybe next time I get to Houston I can try an Asian market.

Thanks - something to look forward to!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

The Asian market will definitely be your best bet, Mardi. Not only should it be cheaper, but it should be more readily available too. As for it being frozen I'm not completely sure. I'm not sure how the laws are right now with the FDA, but I do know that up until 2007, all Mangosteen that were coming in to the U.S. had to be frozen anyhow, which means that up until then, if you bought "fresh" Mangosteen in the States, it's in all actuality previously frozen! So maybe it has changed, hopefully.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

I love the fruit - but, like shibashake, could do without the durian! Whenever I'm in the Far East, 2 fruits I make it a point to eat are the mangosteen and the rumbutan.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

"Two out of three aint bad," as they say! I love rambutan myself chilled from the can. For me, it's difficult to find fresh...Chinatown would be a great place to start. Thanks, Shalini!


Silverlining profile image

Silverlining 7 years ago from Port Elizabeth

Never heard of it! Really interesting. A new fruit here in South Africa now is the persimmon fruit...which is so delicious. Never knew there where so many fruits out there that most people don’t even know of.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Isn't it incredible that there are so many great fruits out there? They say that Mangosteen is the best out of all of them. I have yet to try it fresh but did drink it in a juice form (from Thailand, NOT Xango). It's amazing really. The toughest part about doing so is to not drink the entire thing all at once! Thank you again, Silverlining.


emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

Oh man, I love mangosteen! I'm actually in Davao right now and the mangosteen I see here look really delicious. They can also be quite expensive too ($2 to $3 per kilo for a few pieces only - much expensive than durian)! Supply is getting fewer here because the fruit is now being used to produce mangosteen candy, mangosteen juice, mangosteen "vitamins", etc. Oh well, I'll just buy when I have the chance. Thanks dohn!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Gosh, you're so lucky! I'd be more than happy to pay $2 or $3 a kilo for mangosteen! Here, I'm lucky to pay only $10 a pound, which will get me 3 or 4 mangosteen for $10! One day I'm going to have my own plantation of all of these fruits and undercut everyone!!! I've haven't even tasted one fresh:( But one day I will, just as soon as I get over to Chinatown:)


Domnica 7 years ago

Your article really brought me back in Singapore. Though the best mangosteen I've taste it was in Malaysia. Sometimes we were crossing the border just for buying the fruits in Johor. Malacca is one of the unique places you may want to visit in Malaysia. A mixture of cultures which over the years have defined the place.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Again, thank you for visiting me and sharing your stories. One day I hope to travel the world and relish all that the world has to offer! I'm envious of your travels and would really enjoy visiting all of these fascinating places. I'm glad that you enjoyed my hub and hope to hear from you again soon! Thanks for contributing!


Domnica 7 years ago

I enjoyed your articles very much. Thank you!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

You're welcome, Dominca! Best of luck and hope to hear from you again.


GeneralHowitzer profile image

GeneralHowitzer 7 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

This fruit is powerhouse I already heard of great things about these wonderful gift of nature... I'm planning to make a hub bout these but you're advance in the uptake...

This is great and very informative hub thanks for sharing...

I didn't read the hub thoroughly for I'm already aware of the great benefits you could extract from this wonderful bounty...

Till then dohn...


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks, General Howitzer! The mangosteen should certainly not take a backseat to any "superfruit" discussion. Amazingly, we are still discovering new and profound ways utilize its rich resources embedded within it's exocarp! Thanks for the great comment!


Am I dead, yet? 7 years ago

Now this, I would most certainly enjoy. Well done.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you, AIDY. Many people all over the world claim that this is the best fruit the world has to offer! I hope you'll agree.


ahmad youssef profile image

ahmad youssef 7 years ago from lebanon

Hey,thanks for the comment

It is rather easy to make a multicolored rose. Put the stem into water with several drops of dye/ food coloring and leave it to drink the colored water. It will change into the color of the water over time. If you would like a 'rainbow' rose simple cut the stem in half about half way up and then put the 'wishbone' shaped stem into the two colors of food coloring. For more colors divide the halves in half and so and and so forth.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Wow, thank you for telling me that, ahmad. I'm surprised that I haven't seen more "rainbow roses" up until now. You'd think it be popular to the point of it being commonplace by now. I'll give it a shot. I'm sure it'll make for a great gift to all the women in my life ;) Thank you again.


Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 6 years ago

Cool article!

Really interesting facts, think it is worth the price you have to pay for it?


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks, UH! And yeah, it's worth every penny :D Many that have tried it swear that it's the best fruit they've ever tasted! That alone should be reason enough to taste it :)


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

I love this fruit too, and I miss it, cant find it here in the US asian stores, nice and colorful presentation like the rest of your hubs


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hello, prettydarkhorse. Thank you again for taking the time to visit me! I really do appreciate it. I think that in time, mangosteen will eventually be available here and to the masses, as in Florida, many are already beginning to grow them here to offset the U.S. stringent import rules on perishable foods.


chenmikehk profile image

chenmikehk 6 years ago from North Borneo, Malaysia

Yes, the mangosteen xanthone is over rated due to excessive multi level marketing but good hub yet again


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

I dislike the fact that those adds pop up on this hub from time to time--there's not much I can do about it (and I don't really feel like delving into my Google Adsense Ad placement strategies). I could well write a hub just on the BS that those MLM lie about! Thanks for the comment!


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 6 years ago from The Land of Tractors

What an enlightening hub about a fruit I never heard of before. It is beautiful! Maybe with its combination of bitter and sweet, the mangosteen could have been the fruit in the Garden of Eden!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

I'm so glad that you enjoyed this hub, wannabwestern. I hope you do get a chance to try arguably the "best tasting fruit" the world has to offer! However, be prepared to spend anywhere between $4-$8 a mangosteen! Trust me, you won't be sorry that you did. It probably was in the Garden of Eden! Great point! :)


sunforged profile image

sunforged 6 years ago from Sunforged.com

This hub brought back some great memories, one of my first businesses was selling for Xango (an ad of which actually appears on this page)..I used to get regularly drilled about the benefits of Xanthones, it was nice to read the real info, rather than the trumped up ad copy I always saw


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hey, sunforged. Thank you for that. Every company that I ever worked for never ceased to overly-hype about how great they are in comparison to everyone else, despite the facts, studies, and opinions of others. I'm glad that I didn't get into MLM! Thanks for the feedback and for the comment!


Truth From Truth profile image

Truth From Truth 6 years ago from Michigan

I will have to track one down to try, even though it sounds really pricey.It would be great to try a desert made with the fruit. Thanks


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

You'll enjoy it, I'm sure, TFT. In an unofficial poll, the mangosteen is said to be the best tasting fruit! That alone should get anyone to try it out :D Thanks as always.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

Wow, mangosteen looks beautiful (never heard about it before your Hub) but I am fascinated by it`s shape and colours. Great Hub, Dohn.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks so much, Tatjana-Mihaela! I've had it a few times and loved it. They are expensive so I can't really afford to just go out and by say a case and indulge myself for the next week or so! I'd love to some day own a tropical plantation of various fruits from my home country. I'm glad you enjoyed reading and learning about the mangosteen!


apricot profile image

apricot 6 years ago from Italy

Ah, this is making me hungry! I'm so into fruit these days that I just had to look at this one - mangosteens are delish, they were my favourite too, in fact I'd forgotton. Actually, now I remember - the last time I was in Thailand I bought some iffy ones from the market which must have soured my memory of them - I remember I took them on the plane with me so they crossed the seas all the way back home and so did the ants that had smuggled their way in with them. Gosh, you've got me off thinking about them again though - I reckon I'll have to hunt some out here (the mangosteen, not the ants)

Hello by the way Dohn! Hope you're well!


Southern man 6 years ago

Most of mangosteens were exported from the southern and eastern part of Thailand, where the high quality mangosteens were produced because it's is not grow well in dry cold weather like the climate in north and norteastern part of Thailand. This is The story of it's name "mangosteen" that might be a joke.

In Thai language Mangosteen is called "Mung-Kut". People in Thailand was told that, in the past, the westerner who first came to Thailand asked the merchant:

westerner: "what is it?"

Thai merchant:"Mung-Kut".

westerner: "mango"?

the merchant was moody because it was not a mango, so he said : "mango sonteen" (sonteen in Thai means a heel)

westerner: Oh!I see, it's a "Mangosteen"

In 2006, Thailand exported about 15,000 tons of fresh mangosteen, worth 263 million baht. Major markets included China, Japan, and the United States. As for frozen mangosteen, exports came to 167 tons in volume and 14.6 million baht in value. Major markets were Japan, the United States, and South Korea. China, Vietnam, and Myanmar imported a high volume of dried mangosteen from Thailand in the same year.

How ever,in Thailand, The price of mangosteen is less than 1 US dollar per Kg. Welcome to Thailand during the fresh fruits season during June to August.


doodlebugs profile image

doodlebugs 5 years ago from Southwest

What a beautiful fruit. It is too bad that I cannot find mangosteen locally. I suspect it is getting snatched up and used in supplements here in the U.S.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 4 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

I laughed when I read your comment, Southern Man. You gave some really rich info on the topic of the Mangosteen. It really is funny on the topic of the origin story of the fruit's namesake. I can envision the exchange between the Westerner and Thai perfectly. A lot gets lots in translation I guess! Thank you so much for commenting. It's one of the most detailed and well thought-out comments I've ever seen.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 4 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hi doodlebugs. Yeah, I'm having a tough time finding this fruit too. When writing this, the fruit is currently out of season and so all of us will just have to wait until it is made available. The best place to get them even then whilst here in the States is of course Chinatown. Just make sure their fresh and not frozen-fresh :D


Glenn Co profile image

Glenn Co 4 months ago from Greater Burlington, Vt

The other fruit that, in my opinion, rates up there with the magnificent durian, the jack fruit, and the mangosteen, is the dragon fruit, either in white flesh or red, although I prefer the red.

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