I was able to get my hands on mangosteen, a dark purple fruit that is grown in Southeast Asia that is hard to find in the United States. It's got a hard shell on the outside that feels like a very unripe avocado with a very flat and sturdy stem. It's been sitting in my fruit bowl for about a week and the firmness has not changed and I don't smell any fragrance. How do I know if it's ripe enough to eat?

3 Answers 3


How do I know if a mangosteen is ripe enough to eat?

It is ripe when the rind is dark purple.

The color and feel of the mangosteen will help you know when it's ripe. You’ll know that a mangosteen is ripe when it feels a bit heavy in your hand, the outer peel is smooth, purplish red in color, and yields slightly with gentle pressure from your thumb.

Unripened or over ripened mangosteen will be hard (like, knock-knock hard) on the outside and darker colored peel.

Source: Mangosteen FAQs – FruitStand.com

You can tell if it is ripe when it feels heavy for its size, is smooth and the skin is purple. Also, it will yield slightly to pressure when pressing the side.

Source: Mangosteen How To Eat It and What Does It Taste Like

You might want to know how to tell if mangosteen is ripe. When it comes to this, you should note that the best way to tell this is by observing the rind of this fruit.

The color for it should start to become purplish and it will eventually become dark purple. Once this happens, the fruit is ripe enough to harvest it and you can then start eating it.

Source: How To Tell If Mangosteen Is Ripe (Answered) - Miss Vickie


Generally, mangosteens are harvested when they are ripe as they don't tend to ripen once picked.

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    I wonder how they travel to the United States after being picked ripe and what the self life is. Akin to bananas - they are often picked when unripe and very green and sold in grocery story that way. The ripening happens after you buy and take them home.
    – JMann
    Oct 24, 2022 at 14:09
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    Can't speak to the shelf-life, but ripeness is a word used to indicate peak readiness for consumption, while maturity describes it's readiness to be harvested. Some fruit and veg are harvested at the height of maturity and ripen over time, others are ripe when harvested. Here is a link with some great examples of that!
    – threefjefff
    Oct 24, 2022 at 15:29
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    @JMann - The shelf-life is short. That's part of why they're harder to find further from the equator. Everything I've read indicates that magosteen only goes "downhill" after being harvested. Time to eat!
    – gnicko
    Oct 24, 2022 at 23:36

It's difficult to judge mangosteen ripeness from the outside, but as a rule, they don't ripen off the tree, they just rot. (Which is also why mangosteen travel so badly: you can't just pick them raw and ripen them up at the destination.) So it's best to eat them ASAP.

The best method to check ripeness is a practical test: twist off the "crown" of the fruit, place it between your palms with the top facing up, and squeeze gently but firmly, and it will cleanly pop in half if it's ripe. If it goes "squish", it's overripe and likely gone bad. If it's rock hard, it's either unripe or gone bad. And it's commonly for a single batch bought at the same time to have fruit in all three stages.

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