How To Tell If A Mango Is Ripe

Have you ever wondered how you can tell whether a mango is ripe or not? If you love these fruits, being able to work it out is a great way to ensure that you always get the perfect fruit from the store, but how do you do it?

Usually, the best way to tell if a mango is ripe is to lightly squeeze the fruit and see how much give it has. A ripe mango will lightly squash under your hands. An unripe mango will feel hard, like a stone, and an overripe mango will squash a lot.

You can’t tell whether mangoes are ripe just by looking at them, so let’s explore how to tell if a mango is ripe in more detail.

What Are The Signs Of A Ripe Mango?

mango

There aren’t many ways to tell whether a mango is ripe or not, but there are a couple. When you pick one up in the store, you should:

  • Lightly squeeze the mango. Don’t apply so much pressure that you are likely to crush the fruit or damage it; instead, just tighten your fingers around it and see how much give there is in its flesh.
  • Carefully smell the fruit. Many ripe mangoes (although not all) will emit a lightly fruity smell that lets you know that they are ready to eat. Unripe mangoes will have minimal scent, and overripe mangoes will smell sour and possibly alcoholic.
  • Check the stalk. If the mango is ripe, the flesh around the stalk will be firm and the stalk will protrude from the mango.

The colors of the mango may also give you some hint as to whether the mango is ready, as brighter colors often correspond with ripeness – but be cautious about this approach, because it isn’t very accurate.

If a mango feels soft, smells good, and has firm skin around the stalk as well as bright colors, it is almost certainly ready to eat. However, color alone isn’t enough to tell you whether or not the mango is ready.

How Do You Make A Mango Ripen?

If you have accidentally bought a mango that is too hard to eat, you might be wondering whether you can make it softer more quickly – and the answer is that you can. Ethylene gas is a product that many fruits give off naturally and it prompts the fruits to ripen. Putting your mango in an environment with lots of ethylene gas will speed up the ripening process.

You can do this by putting your mango in a bag (this will seal in the gas the mango itself produces) or by putting it alongside fruits like bananas and apples, which release a lot of ethylene gas. If you put ripe bananas and mangoes in a bag together, the mangoes will quickly become ripe and ready to consume.

Keeping the mangoes in a slightly warm place will help too. Don’t put them in the fridge, as this slows down the production of ethylene gas and will make the mangoes stay unripe for longer.

How Should You Store A Ripe Mango?

Once your mango is ripe, you should put it in the fridge, as this will slow down the ripening process and prevent it from going bad too quickly. If you keep the mango at room temperature once it has become ripe, it will quickly become overripe and then start to turn bad before you have had a chance to eat it – so be careful.

If you manage to buy ripe mangoes at the store, make sure you put them in the fridge when you get home. This will keep them at their best for as long as possible. If you put them in the fruit bowl or on the counter instead, they are unlikely to keep for very long, and will quickly go bad.

A whole ripe mango should keep for around 3 to 5 days in the fridge, but if you want it to last for longer, consider slicing it into cubes and freezing the cubes. It may not be quite as good as fresh mango when it is defrosted, but it should keep for up to 6 months, so this is a good way to reduce food waste.

What Happens If The Mango Is Overripe?

It’s better to buy a mango that is not yet ripe than a mango that is too ripe, because you can always wait and allow the underripe one to ripen, while you can’t reverse the process for the one that is turning bad. If you have accidentally bought an overripe mango, you will probably find that it is very squishy and it smells a little strange.

You should still be able to eat an overripe mango as long as it hasn’t started turning bad yet, but it probably won’t taste as good. Make sure that you cut off any bad bits and discard them before you eat the rest of the fruit.

If your overripe mango tastes alcoholic or fermented, it is better to discard it, as this is a sign that bacteria may have got into the fruit and started to change its composition. Any areas of the fruit that have been bruised during transit should be thrown away too.

What If Part Of The Mango Is Squishy?

If only a small part of the mango feels squishy and the rest is hard, the chances are that the mango has been bruised during transit and that area is going bad because the cell walls have broken and compounds within the fruit are interacting with each other. You may want to choose another mango.

The mango may be okay to eat if you cut this part off, however, so judge each case individually and don’t throw the whole fruit away if only one small part has gone bad.

Conclusion

The best way to tell whether a mango is ripe is to lightly squeeze the fruit and see how soft it is. However, you can also sometimes detect a sweet scent, and the skin may be particularly firm. Use these factors to determine whether a mango is ready to eat or not.

Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than five years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!

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