How to Tell if a Mango is Ripe or Not

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Many people don’t know how to tell if a mango is ripe, but before you can add mango to your fruit smoothie or your latest dessert creation, you need to ensure that you are choosing an ideal fruit!

How to Tell If a Mango is Ripe?

Before you begin to cut, however, you should also be sure that you are selecting the best possible mango for your dish. To tell if a mango is ripe is similar to how you choose avocado or peach. You will want the mango to be slightly softened when you squeeze, without too much give. A firm fruit that doesn’t give under pressure should be given another 2-3 days for optimal ripeness.

Ripe mangoes on the tree

Ripe mangoes are usually yellow-orange in color. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Furthermore, a ripe mango will have a distinctly strong smell, particularly at either end of the fruit. If there is no smell, or if it is weak, then the fruit may need another day or two to fully ripen. According to a 2017 report published in the Nutrients journal, an unripe mango will have smooth, green skin whereas a ripe mango will be golden yellow, crimson red, yellow, or orange-red, depending on the variety. Color can sometimes be an indicator, namely the appearance of red on the peel, but this isn’t always reliable as an indicator of ripeness. Some varieties can be ripe and bright green in color.

If you have purchased a bag of mangoes and are impatient for them to ripen, simply place 1 or 2 in a bowl with other ripening fruit, such as bananas. The release of ethylene gas from other ripening fruit will help to speed the process of ripening, making your mangoes available for snacking about twice as fast.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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