Mangos are a delicious tropical fruit that you can enjoy on their own or in a variety of different recipes, including fruit salads and smoothies.
But how to tell if a mango is ripe? There are a few clear signs, such as the color and a distinctive smell, that indicate when your mango is ready to be eaten.
In this handy guide, we explain the best ways to find out if your mango is ripe and what you can do to ripen your favorite fruit.
The Best Ways To Tell Your Mango Is Ripe
While the appearance of a mango can tell you a lot about its ripeness, you will also need to smell and feel the fruit to ensure that it is soft enough to eat.
Here are the best ways how you can tell mangos are ripe and juicy.
Look At The Color Of The Mango
Mangos come in a variety of different colors that can vary depending on the ripeness of the fruit. This doesn’t always make it a reliable indicator of ripeness.
This being said, if you have a mango that’s a few days old and you observe it changing to a bright color, then this could be a sign that your mango is ripe.
Some mangos turn from deep green to a vibrant red, while others change their color from green to yellow, so it is important to check the color changes for your individual mango variety.
As a rule of thumb, a red color in a mango usually indicates that the fruit has seen a lot of sunshine which can mean that it is ripe.
Check For Brown Or White Spots
Brown or white spots on a mango can be a rough indication that you have a ripe fruit. Some mango varieties show either white or brown freckles on their skin when they are ripe.
However, some mango varieties, such as the Kent mango, may also develop yellow spots on the skin as the fruit begins to ripen.
Keep in mind that these spots aren’t always a clear sign of ripeness, so make sure to check some of the other indicators, too.
Smell The Fruit
A ripe mango gives off a strong fruity aroma that resembles a cantaloupe or pineapple. The smell is strongest near the stem.
If you smell the stem of your mango and it doesn’t have the typical sweet aroma, then the fruit is likely not ripe yet.
On the other hand, if your mango smells alcoholic or sour, then the fruit has gone bad and you should throw it away.
Feel The Weight Of The Mango
Mangos are heavy fruit but they get slightly heavier when they turn ripe. Hold a mango in your hand and compare its weight to an unripe mango.
You will find out that the unripe fruit feels much lighter than the ripe mango.
Feel The Skin Of The Fruit
A ripe mango usually has wrinkles on its skin. Gently move your fingertips over the mango’s surface and feel if it has a slightly wavy texture or ridges.
This being said, some mango varieties don’t have ridges, so it is important that you use this check with other testing methods to establish if your mango is ripe or not.
Check The Mango’s Stem
The stem of a mango can tell you a lot about the ripeness of the fruit. If you notice that the skin around the mango feels plump and swollen, then your fruit is ready to eat.
On the other hand, if the mango’s stem is sunken in or flat, then you need to wait a little longer before you can enjoy the refreshing taste of your mango.
As a mango matures, it produces sugars, juices and pulp. This pushes out the stem indicating that the fruit is ripe.
Gently Squeeze The Mango
In order to tell if your mango is ready to eat, you can give your fruit a gentle squeeze. If your mango feels hard, then it needs more time to ripen and it’s not ready yet.
On the other hand, if your mango feels soft when you squeeze it, then it is definitely ripe. Just keep in mind that if your finger goes through the skin and the fruit is mushy, then it is overripe.
Depending on the ripeness, you may still be able to eat an overripe mango. It can work well in smoothies, juice or other drinks where you only need the juice from your mango.
When feeling your mango for signs of ripeness, make sure that you don’t accidentally bruise the fruit.
How To Ripen A Mango
If your store-bought mango isn’t ready to eat yet, then there are a few simple ways to speed up the ripening process, so you can enjoy your mango within a few days.
Store Your Mango At Room Temperature
Leave your mango out on the kitchen counter at room temperature. This will allow the fruit to ripen faster. Make sure to check it at least once a day for signs of ripeness.
Most mangos take between two and seven days to grow ripe.
Place Your Mango Next To Bananas
Bananas aren’t just delicious fruit but they also produce ethylene that helps other fruit nearby to ripen.
Just place a bunch of bananas next to your mango or any other fruit you want to ripen and they will be ready in a few days.
If you don’t have bananas, then you can also use pears and apples as they also produce ethylene.
Place Your Mango Inside A Brown Paper Bag
Mangos naturally produce ethylene that helps fruit to ripen. If you put your fruit inside a brown bag or wrap it up in a newspaper, then this traps the ethylene speeding up the ripening process.
Make sure to leave your mango out at room temperature, this also encourages the ethylene production.
The Best Ways To Store Ripe Mangos
Ripe mangos can spoil relatively quickly, depending on how and where they are stored. Here are some of the best methods to store your ripe mangos.
Keep Mangos At Room Temperature
If you want to allow your mango fruit to ripen so they are ready to eat in a few days, then just leave them out in a fruit bowl at room temperature.
Just ensure that your fruit is in a dry place away from direct sunlight.
Store Ripe Mangos In The Fridge
If you can’t eat your ripe mango within a day, then it is a good idea to store it inside the refrigerator. This slows down the ripening process and your mango will last longer.
You can keep your ripened mangos in the fridge for up to 14 days.
Freeze Ripe Mangos
Mangos are an easy fruit to freeze. You can store your mangos in the freezer for up to 10 months. However, make sure that you store your mangos in the right way.
The mangos need to be peeled and cut into cubes first. Then flash freeze them for 5 hours on a baking tray. Next, place the mango cubes inside freezer bags or sealed containers.
Then you can put them in the freezer and thaw individual portions whenever needed. Just keep in mind that frozen mangos take some time to defrost and they are not as firm as fresh mangos.
Mangos are delicious tropical fruits that are ideal for a fruit salad or smoothies. Before you cut your mango, make sure that it is soft and ready to eat.
The fruit should smell aromatic and feel soft to the touch. You can also check for small ripeness freckles. If you spot any of these signs, then your mango is ripe.
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