HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Jun 15, 2009 09:07 PM

Mangosteen - where are they grown?

I picked some up from ranch 99 in Van Nuys yesterday $5.99/lb, ends up being about $1 each. Pleasantly surprised, sweet, firm and uniformly white in color. Additionally the outer skin is a lot thinner than the one's I used to eat in SE Asia.

Expensive but surprisingly good for sure.

Does anyone know where they are being sourced from?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Possibly Hawai‘i... I know people on the Hilo side of the Big Island with huge plantations of lychee, long an and rambutan.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      I did have some decent rambutans in Hilo a few years back, did not see any mangosteens though. Hope they keep it up, woohooo domestic tropical fruits!

      What's next durians?!?

      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        I left the fruit biz about 1.5 years ago. At that time there weren't any plans for anything from Hawaii. Puerto Rico has some Mangosteen but they weren't able to get a steady supply for a big number of markets. I'm guessing these are all from Thailand especially since this is in the thick of their season.

        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          Rambutans abound in Hawaii, including some old trees. They can be excellent.

          I bought mangosteens last year but a chef and I concluded that they were not comparable to the ones in Thailand. You should be able to rip them apart but the ones I had were like golf balls, especially after the first batch. Hopefully they're getting better this year.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Not Hawaii for mangosteens. Supposedly the only place hot enough to grow them domestically is South Florida; though apparently the trees that have been planted there are still too young to bear enough fruit to be sold commercially.

            1. re: mandelabra

              When I did my last work with the exotic growers in South Florida they hadn't planted any "commercial" crops yet. They said they were difficult to grow and to get good fruit from. This was a few years back though and they were experimenting. At the time they had just gotten fruit from their longan trees that were made to fruit in the off-season.

              1. re: BobMack

                Mangosteens usually like it miserably hot and humid - the muggier the better. The culture is ultra-tropical - I don't think any part of the US offers this year-round. South Florida is probably the closest the US has to places like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, but I wonder if it's hot and humid enough for the duration of the year? I'm thinking they'd have better luck in Central or South America...