Although you might think mangosteen has something in common with regular mangoes, it actually has nothing to do with it. Mangosteens are round with a thick, dark, wine-red rind that peels away, and reveals delicate, flavorful milky white flesh with seeds being small enough to be swallowed up without any worries. The fruit has a unique taste and literally dissolves in your mouth.
The sweet fruit is divided into 5 to 8 segments, with some of them containing a seed. It is delicate in texture to the extent that it melts in your mouth. Keep in mind, though, that mangosteen juice may leave marks on clothes that are not easily removed.
Thailand owns the largest plantations of purple mangosteen and is considered to be its most significant producer in the world. The fruit also grows in Malaysia and Indonesia. The peak season for mangosteen lasts from May to August.
When you choose mangosteen at a market, make sure it's not rock hard. The color of a ripe fruit should be dark purple. When the green stem is still attached to the fruit, it means it was picked recently. Mangosteen is eaten fresh, as it's full of vitamins and other health benefits.