How to Tell if a Mango is Ripe
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Learn how to tell if a mango is ripe and how to ripen mangos easily. Then you can enjoy a sweet and juicy mango at peak ripeness. This fresh fruit is delicious and good for you too!
When our Fruity Watermelon Jello video went viral on Facebook, many comments said they never knew how to cut a mango so easily! It can be kind of intimidating cutting a mango as with other exotic fruits like pomegranates and dragon fruit.
A ripe mango is nonetheless an amazing thing! There are even perfectly ripe mangos for sale in Japan for no less than $40 apiece! Yep, you read that right. They’re grown under exacting conditions so each bite is unbelievably sweet and juicy! Fortunately, mangos are available stateside for a fraction of the price 🙂
HOW TO TELL WHEN A MANGO IS RIPE
How to know when a mango is ripe? Texture is the most reliable indicator followed by smell:
- Texture: A ripe mango will give slightly when squeezed. An unripe mango will be hard, and an overripe mango will be wrinkled and/or mushy.
- Smell: Ripe mangos will sometimes have a sweet aroma near the stem-end. Therefore, while no smell is not a problem, a sweet smell is a positive sign. Of course, avoid any mango with a fermented or sour smell.
It’s important to pick up the mango at the grocery store and give it a gentle squeeze. A mango’s color or appearance can be misleading, as ripe mangos may be red, yellow or green depending on the variety (more information on varieties below).
HOW TO RIPEN MANGOS
If the mango is not ripe, simply store it at room temperature for a day or two to allow it to ripen.
Some people like to put mangos in a paper bag to speed up the ripening process. The bag traps ethylene released by the mango, causing it to ripen faster.
Do not store an unripe mango in the fridge, as that’ll stop the ripening process!
HOW TO STORE MANGOS WHEN RIPE
Storing a ripe mango in the fridge will help it to stay fresh longer before use. You can refrigerate a ripe mango for up to 3 days.
To store a cut mango, simply cut it into chunks and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Alternatively, you can freeze them for up to six months.
HOW TO CUT A MANGO
- Place the mango on a clean work surface.
- Locate the stem and make sure it’s on top.
- Position the mango so the narrowest side is facing up.
- Using a sharp chef’s knife, make a vertical slice ¼-inch (3/4 cm) from the middle (this ensures you’ll cut along the pit and not into it).
- Rotate the remaining large piece 180 degrees clockwise. Cut again 1/2-inch from the flat side (along the other side of the pit).
Now you should have two fleshy pieces and one piece with a pit in it. Use a spoon to scoop the flesh out of the edge pieces. Then use the knife to peel the skin from the pit piece and cut off any flesh around the pit.
To enjoy mangos at peak ripeness, buy them in peak season! While there are hundreds of mango varieties, here are the most common ones found in U.S. grocery stores:
|Mango Variety||Size||Color When Ripe||Growing Season|
|Tommy Atkins||Medium-large||Green with bright red blush||March – October|
|Ataulfo||Small or medium||Golden yellow||July – February|
|Keitt||Medium-large||Green||July – September|
|Palmer||Medium-large||Green with dark red blush||August – October|
While Tommy Atkins is the most common, it tends to be more fibrous and less sweet than Ataulfo or Keitt mangos. The Mango Board has more details about these and other varieties. Enjoy your mango and try one of the recipes below.