Today we look at how to tell if a mango is ripe. This guide will help you select the best and freshest mangoes possible. That will enable you to make the freshest, richest, and sweetest dishes and drinks with this succulent tropical fruit you possibly can.
If you feel like you’ve found the perfectly ripe mango and don’t know what to do with it, go check out some of my amazing recipes on the site.
Personally, I love making a Mango Pineapple Smoothie or Mango Milkshake. However, you should also give this Mango Chicken Salad a try. It’s super refreshing, packed with nutrients, and extremely filling.
Why Is It Important To Know How To Tell If Mango Is Ripe?
Mangoes are deliciously sweet and juicy tropical fruits that can pretty much be bought worldwide. While some cultures love using and consuming green mangoes, it is less than ideal.
Green mangoes are unripe mangoes. And as with most unripe fruits, your body cannot easily digest them. Usually, it fights back in some way which can include throat irritation, stomach cramps, nausea, and indigestion.
So, how can some people eat it while others can’t? It’s simple. Some people grew up eating mangoes like this, and their system is completely adapted to ingest green mangoes. If you aren’t used to eating this fruit raw, I can guarantee you won’t have a good time! No exceptions!
Furthermore, the flavor and texture of ripe and unripe mangoes are obviously different. Unripe mangoes are extremely hard, not super flavorful, and very fibrous.
Ripe mangoes are soft, juicy, packed with delicious flavors, and much easier to eat and digest.
The different flavors and characteristics also mean that you will be able to use these different fruits in different ways. For example, a ripe mango will make a delicious fruit coulis while an unripe mango will make a thick, chunky, fibrous paste.
How To Tell If A Mango Is Ripe?
It’s easy to tell apart ripe and unrips mangoes. The biggest giveaway sign is their color.
Many people say that you shouldn’t look at the color at all. That’s because there are varieties that don’t turn orange and red. But use your discretion. In most parts of the world where mango isn’t grown, they sell the “generic” orange-red mango.
That being said, definitely use touch as a bigger determining factor, even if you know what type of mango you are working with.
Now, keep in mind that there are different types of mango out there. But, if you are looking at the generic orange, yellow, and red mango, then it’s much easier to tell the difference by just looking at the mango.
The mango will start green – at this color it is unripe. Then, as it matures, the color starts to change into yellow and orange. Yellow is an indication that the mango is starting to become ready to eat. However, it’s still not at its ideal color.
Once it turns completely orange and starts showing red, your mango is now most likely ready to be eaten.
The more red color it gets (and the darker the red turns) the more mature (ripe) the mango will be. This will also help tell you when your mango is becoming too ripe, which is also not great.
The second obvious way how to tell when a mango is ripe is by touching it.
Again, unripe green mango is still rock-hard. As the fruit matures and ripens, the juices increase, and the texture of the flesh softens.
So, ripe mangoes are soft. You can gently press against their skin with your fingers. The skin and flesh shouldn’t indent completely, but the mango should be soft.
If the mango is too soft and you can make a large indent effortlessly, the mango is too ripe. You should use it immediately or freeze it for later use.
Personally, this isn’t a method I use as part of how to know when mangos are ripe. I’ve never been able to tell the difference based on smell alone.
But many people claim that ripe mangoes have an extremely fruity aroma around their stems at the top.
Again, I haven’t been ever able to pick up on this point. Once you cut the fruit open, you can definitely smell the difference. But I am not able to when it’s unpeeled.
Finally, when you cut open the fruit (or if you bought pre-prepared mango), you can look at the texture and color of the flesh as well.
A ripe mango has a bright yellow-orange color. It is not red. Depending on the varietal, these colors can slightly vary.
The flesh shouldn’t be bruised, darkened, or mushy. It should be firm but soft. And ripe mangoes are extremely juicy.
FAQs On How To Tell If A Mango Is Ripe
How do you ripen a mango quickly?
The best way is slowly. You can leave mangoes at room temperature and they will ripen over the next couple of days. Do not leave them to become ripe in the fridge. If you store them at room temperature, they will develop a much sweeter, fruitier flavor.
If you are looking for a quick method, you can wrap the mango in a brown paper bag or newspaper. Leave it at room temperature. It should be ready in a couple of days.
How to store mango to prevent it from over-ripening?
Once your mango has reached the ideal ripened stage, you can store it inside the fridge. At cooler temperatures, the ripening process will slow down significantly. However, it won’t stop completely.
How can you tell if a mango is going to be sweet?
Believe it or not, you can, to some extent, determine if your mango is going to be sweet or bland. Again, this is done by sniffing the stem part. The stronger the smell is, the sweeter the mango will be.
That being said, all ripe mangoes are naturally sweet. It is very rare to cut one open and have it be bland and flavorless. It’s just not in their nature.