Mangos are a tropical fruit with a great juicy sweet taste. They are great cut up as a snack, in smoothies, or in fruit salads.
You can tell if a mango is ripe by using your senses. Smell it, feel it, and look at it. When you are at the store go ahead and pick them up and look them over.
How to tell if mangos are ripe? You can tell if mangos are ripe if they are brightly shaped footballs and by smelling them at the stem. Ripe mangos will have a sweet smell. Gently squeeze looking for a little give or softness to it.
3 ways to tell if mangos are ripe
When you are at the store looking at the mangos and feel stumped trying to tell whether they are ripe or not, know that you are not alone.
It is hard to tell just by looking at them so you will want to pick them up and smell them and feel them to be able to tell if they are ripe.
Give each mango a sniff right at the stem, this is where to smell will be the strongest. If they are ripe they will have a sweet, fruity smell almost like a pineapple or a cantaloupe.
You will notice they smell like they taste, so if they have a neutral smell or no smell at all they are not ripe yet
When you pick up a mango you will notice that they are heavier than they look or their size. You want to give a little squeeze and should feel some give if the mango is ripe.
By giving, I mean that if you push gently with your finger you will make a slight indent in the skin of the mango. This means that it will be soft and juicy which is what you want.
If it is hard and not soft at all then it is not ready and needs more time to ripen.
A lot of people think that the colors of the mangos are indicators of ripeness. This is not true.
There are many different types and colors of mangos and the color doesn’t really have anything to do with how ripe it is.
With that said, if the colors are nice and bright that is a good sign of a healthy-looking mango. whether it is red, green, yellow, or all three, bright is good.
How to ripen mangos
If you bought mangos that are not ripe yet and you want to speed up the process so that you can enjoy them there are a few ways to go about it.
Mangos ripen best when they are at room temperature.
Newspaper or Brown paper bag
You can wrap mangos in a newspaper or in a paper bag and leave them on the counter to help them ripen faster. Ethylene is a natural gas that fruits produce which helps in the ripening process.
Placing the mangos in a paper bag or wrapping them in newspaper traps the gas and helps them to ripen quicker than if they were just on the counter.
Ethylene producing fruits
Placing unripe mangos with other fruits like bananas, apples, or pears helps mangos ripen. As I said before these fruits have off-gas ethylene which ripens them.
Placing them near other fruits will speed up the process.
Leaving your mangos out on the counter at room temperature will allow them to ripen. Depending on how unripe your mangos were when you bought them will determine how long you want to leave them out.
Generally, two to seven days is a good time frame to get your mangos nice and ripe. Another important fruit to make sure of is how to tell if bananas are ripe.
How to store ripe mangos
There are a few ways to store your mangos once they are ripe. Depending on when you plan to eat them will help you decide where is best for you.
You can store ripe mangos on the counter at room temperature if you plan to eat them within the next couple of days.
You want to make sure they are in a cool, dry place and not in direct sunlight.
If you don’t plan on eating your mangos right away you want to store them in the fridge so that the ripening process slows and they last you longer.
Mangos will last in the fridge anywhere from seven to fourteen days.
Mangos can be frozen and stored in the freezer for up to 10 months. You will want to peel and cube them and then flash and freeze them for 3-5 hours on a baking sheet.
Once they are frozen transfer them into a freezer-safe bag or container.
Another tropical fruit that is hard to know when it is ripe is the passion fruit. Learn more about how to tell when a passion fruit is ripe in this post.