Sri Lanka’s Tropical Delights – Mangosteen

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a ripe mangosteen with it's fleshy white inside
Even though its shell is hard to breach, the sweet inner fleshy area is well worth the trouble

If you want to try out the best of Sri Lankan fruits, then the May is the best season. You will be able to indulge in these juicy delights which are available across the country during this time.

Mangosteen – The Queen of Tropical Fruits

Out of the tropical bounty of fruits available in Sri Lanka for you, Mangosteen would definitely leave your taste buds tingling.  You’ll be amazed by the nutritional content of mangosteen which contains carbohydrates, Calcium, Vitamins C, and B.

How to eat the Mangosteen:

Consuming a mangosteen would be a bit of a challenge for anyone, as it is a hard fruit to crack. The best way to open up the fruit is to keep the fruit between your palms and squashing it till it cracks open to give you the sweet fleshy cloves of Mangosteen.

the edible inner fleshy area of mangosteen
The sweet fleshy cloves, these contain the seeds of Mangosteen | Photo Credit: Vishvi

Kalutara: The City of Mangosteen

For those who wondered where to get Mangosteen from, here’s your answer! Kalutara is considered as the hometown of Mangosteen in Sri Lanka and the fruit is abundantly available here.

Selling Mangosteens during the season (May through September) is one of the main livelihoods of some people in Kalutara. These are sold in small fruit stalls by the side of the roads. Local people call this “Mangus” which is easier to pronounce. duh! Kalutara is ever famous for Mangus that even the cricket matches held between schools here are called “Battles of Mangosteen”.

not so ripe mangosteen for sale
Photo credit: Exotic Fruits BR

How to grow Mangosteen:

The tropical climate is perfect to grow Mangosteen and It requires temperature in the range of 40 C – 370 C. Mind you, growing this fruit requires a lot of attention. Annual water requirement for the plant is 50 cm. Seeds must be kept at least 05 days before planting and keep seeds in a moistened condition. A grown tree can be as tall as 20 – 82 feet.

Picking your Mangosteen:

Buying fruits off the small stalls is not recommended as you will not find the best fruits sold here. There are many things to be considered when picking Mangosteens. The fruit is supposed to be kept for 7 days after picking and is not to be consumed before that in order to experience the best taste.

mngosteen is one of the important sri lankan fruits
Ripe mangosteen is the sweetest – Photo Credit: Negozio Bananito

Facts about Mangosteen:

Mangosteens are not found grown in large estates as it’s considered a fruit to be grown on its own. The soil condition and weather in Kalutara is ideal during the months of the season for the fruit’s growth.

The fruit should not hit the ground when picking as damage to the outer shell of the fruit releases an acid to the flesh of the fruit and makes it bitter and turns the flesh to yellow.

mangosteen health benefits
Ripe and delicious | Photo Credit: Chankz

Mangosteen nutritional facts

Mangosteen is rich in dietary fiber and a good source of Vitamin C. It is a mild source of B-Complex vitamins and minerals like Copper, Magnesium, and Potassium. It’s low in calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol.

Health Benefits

Mangosteen is known to exhibit anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects thus reduce skin infections, inflammation, skin-aging, and allergies.

It is also known to boost immunity because It is rich in minerals and vitamins. Antioxidants, at the same time, prevent or delay cell damage and speeds up healing.

Did you know?  Mangosteen is the national fruit in Thailand.

It can also be found in….

Since the tropical climate is best suited for it is growing. This delicious fruit is abundant in south-east Asian countries like Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, and India.

Further Reading

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