Mangosteen Season – Who Knew?

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I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m surprised at just how tricky I’m finding it to adjust to these so-called seasons of Thailand.  Now that we have been through a few of seasonal shifts, I’m starting to feel a bit more aware of it.  The changes are certainly more subtle than they were at home.  No leaves changing color, tulips popping out, or falling snow to clue me in.  We seem to be past the true “hot” season that reached its peak somewhere around late April.  These past few weeks have brought on cloudy days, drizzly rain, and cooler breezes.

Today, it’s just cool enough out that I can open the windows on both sides of the apartment and get a nice breeze.  Having the windows open makes me realize how much is going on in our little neighborhood that I miss because we keep ourselves closed up tight to lock in the air conditioning.

With the windows open I can hear people laughing in the building next to ours, clothes flipping around in the breeze, and (most charming) what most certainly sounds like a record player cranking out Thai opera.  The rare sound of life outside makes me feel connected to these neighbors of ours who share the air space 8 floors above the street.

The other subtle clue of the passage of time comes, of course, through food.  A few weeks ago, I started seeing people on the streets lugging overloaded bags of mangosteens.  This week, a cart has made its way down our street nearly every day, selling nothing but mangosteens.  The vendor rings a bike bell and people come out en masse to stock up on the fruit.  The fruit is so abundant at the moment that a woman in my writing workshop sweetly sent me home with a bag of the charming purple fruit from an organic farm near her house.

They are, quite possibly, the most beautiful fruit I have encountered in Thailand.  With their crisp eggplant-color shell, layer of deep pink flesh and perfectly white citrus-like interior, they are tricky to get into, but worth the trouble.

I only wish I could munch on them while typing.  Unfortunately, as I’ve discovered, nothing turns white things pink like unwashed fingers after a mangosteen feast.

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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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  1. Mmm I love Mangosteen! It is a very difficult flavour to describe though isn’t it?! I would say it’s somewhere between lychee and mango. I had in Thailand loads 2 years ago and recently found it in a local shop! Love this post and your photos, I’ve just stumbled on it and it’s brilliant.

    1. So glad you found the blog! And I think you nailed it with the mangosteen description – lychee plus mango is it!

  2. I love mangosteen! I was in Bangkok a few weeks ago so I got to eat a lot of it. The soft white flesh, the sweet juice… I could spend an entire afternoon feasting on it. (And having pink-stained fingers) 🙂 glad I stumbled upon your blog.

    1. Hmmmmm…this is a good question. The best I can do is that it tastes like a tangerine and a coconut merged, but without the orange flavor and the stringy threads….