I first found fresh mangosteens while shopping at SF Supermarket. However, on a recent trip to Ranch 99, I was delighted to find mangosteens being sold as well!
The price was definitely steep ($6.99/lb!), but since I'm shopping for one, I feel like I can splurge sometimes. And I really love my tropical fruits.
The mangosteens were prepackaged in these yellow nets. So I couldn't buy less even if I wanted to.
When I got home, I was annoyed to find that the shell was really hard to open. While mangosteens have a hard exterior, freshly ripe ones have a shell that can easily be peeled with the help of a knife. The shell becomes hard when they have been sitting around for a long time. These obviously were old mangosteens, and the shell was almost impossibly hard to cut.
What makes it harder is that you don't want to cut all the way through because in the middle is the fruit. And you don't want to cut through the flesh of the fruit because that ruins how pretty the mangosteen is. Inside is a white, fleshy fruit that looks like a flower. The fruit is separated into sections, much like an orange.
The bottom of the mangosteen shell has a flower petal design as well. I read online that the number of petals on the bottom of the shell is the number of petals you get inside. I haven't tested this out yet though.
The fruit itself is a soft, juicy flesh. It is reminiscent of very ripe white peaches. Some of the larger sections may have a giant seed, but usually you'll only find one seed in an entire mangosteen, or sometimes none.
I love mangosteens, but I am annoyed that Ranch 99 was selling old ones for so expensive. Next time I'll go back to SF Supermarket to get mine.