Widely cultivated in the Asian tropics, the mangosteen is no relation to the mango. In size and structure, it's much like a tangerine, having 5 to 8 fruit segments. The segmented flesh is soft, cream-colored and juicy. It has a tantalizingly sweet-tart flavor that is extremely refreshing. The hard skin of the mangosteen is a dark purple-brown. Unfortunately, the mangosteen is rarely imported to the United States.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.