How to Tell If a Mango is Ripe


Touching and smelling are the two most straightforward ways to determine whether a mango is ready for harvesting. Ripe mangoes will have soft flesh with an irresistibly sweet fragrance.

Gently press your thumb into the skin of a mango to determine its ripeness; if your thumb leaves an indentation, that indicates its maturity. A rotten mango may emit an unpleasant odor similar to alcohol fermentation.

1. The Color

The color of mangos does not accurately indicate their ripeness; rather, this depends on which variety is selected and will either appear green, yellow, or orange depending on the type.

Spoon University reports that color can tell us more about a mango’s species than its maturity level due to carotenoid pigments in its flesh determining its hue. But just picking a color-dominated mango won’t do; firmness and scent must also be evaluated when choosing one for purchasing.

An ideal mango will be soft to the touch and have an aromatic scent similar to pineapple or melon. On the other hand, an unripe one might smell slightly off or even have hard exterior surfaces that feel pretty different.

Though not an exact science, you can test the firmness of mangos by gently squeezing them. Ripe mangoes will yield slightly under pressure but should not give in so quickly that juice seeps out. If a mango becomes so soft as to ooze when squeezed that it cannot withstand stress, it indicates overripeness that may spoil.

Another way to check whether a mango is firm is by pressing on it near its stem area and pressing lightly with your fingertip. A ripe mango should show slight denting near its stem area but shouldn’t feel soft enough that any juice leaks beneath its flesh.

Last, check whether the mango has a seed in its center – this will indicate faster ripening and more delicious flavor than one without one. Ripe mango seeds should be soft and brown, while unripe ones will likely be hard and dark green – both indicators that they will ripen quickly after being taken home.

2. The Smell

Mangoes are well-known for their sweet and citrusy flavor. This signature taste comes from compounds known as -carotene and 3-care; the former acts as a polyphenol, giving the fruit its signature sweet-fruity smell, while the latter reveals woodsy tones, which are also found within it.

So, if you’re searching for the ideal mango to snack on or incorporate into recipes, purchasing only genuinely ripe ones is crucial! But how do you tell if the one you bought is ready for consumption? Various techniques exist for determining this; most involve testing with fingers and nose.

The easiest way to tell if a mango is ready to eat is by sniffing its aroma with your nose. A ripe mango should have a subtle fragrance of fresh mango; this indicates that it is time to be eaten! Pressing its stem may also reveal signs that indicate when its time has come to consume!

Another method to test mango ripeness is by feeling it with your fingertips; an ideal mango should feel soft but not too juicy when touched, similar to how avocado or peach fruit feels when squeezed. Squeeze the mango to see if its firmness changes; if the flesh feels soft and mushy, it has reached peak ripeness!

If you want to wait before enjoying your mango, store it in an airtight container at room temperature to help it remain ripe longer and allow you to use it in different recipes! Additionally, be wary of mangoes that leak juice from their stem or have an unusual sticky substance on their skin; these may indicate overripeness and should be discarded. This doesn’t necessarily indicate rotten mangoes, as such a situation may mean they’re more mature than expected!

3. The Feel

A ripe mango should feel soft, smooth, and delicate like its avocado or peach counterparts and yield slightly when squeezed or lightly pressed. Color is not always an accurate indicator of ripeness – smell and touch should provide greater insight.

Sniff the stem end of the mango for its sweet, fruity aroma. Ripe mangoes will feature a floral fragrance similar to melons or pineapple, which should become more robust as its fruit ripens.

Mangoes that smell rancid or rotten are often an indicator of overripeness, with firm textures making it hard to cut and peel them. Any such fruit should also be discarded immediately.

Some mango varieties, like the Ataulfo, Francis, and Haden varieties, tend to become deep golden yellow or even have green and gold highlights when they reach full ripeness. Meanwhile, other types, including Tommy Atkins Kent Keitt varieties, remain mostly green but may have yellow or white undertones or spots when mature.

When judging mango ripeness, use your thumb to press gently against its surface. If your thumb can make an indentation in its skin with just light pressure, that indicates ripeness – however, don’t squeeze too hard, as overdoing this may result in bruised or spoilt fruit flesh.

If your mango is rock hard, place it on the counter. It should ripen within days; to hasten this process further, put it in a paper bag or store it alongside apples and pears that produce ethylene gas as natural ripening gas.

Pressing a mango with your thumb, similar to encouraging an eggshell, will also provide useful clues about its ripeness. A ripe mango should feel slightly dented; an unripe one, firm or even squishy, indicates how soft and deliciously soft the fruit will become when prepared and cooked; an overripe or dense fruit is likely overripe while underripe or lush fruit won’t soften enough for eating; using these three methods for judging its ripeness will ensure a delicious and nutritious treat in every bite!

4. The Look

Color alone doesn’t always indicate whether a mango is ready to be consumed; each variety produces unique hues. Therefore, use your experience with similar produce like peaches or avocados that soften when ripe and focus more on feel than color when making this decision. Squeeze the mango gently until its skin gives slightly when squeezed; if so, that indicates its readiness.

Typically, mangos that feel hard or firm indicate they’re unripe. To determine whether a mango is truly ripe, it’s also essential to inspect for bruises or blemishes near its stem – while such marks may still be edible (provided they’re not overly soft), any markedly bruised areas should be discarded immediately.

Smelling a mango can also be essential in determining its ripeness, with an overripe mango emitting a sweet tropical fragrance. At the same time, an unripe one has a more earthy, musky, and piney aroma.

Look for mangos with bright, even colors – without dark spots on their skin and with flesh that has an orange tint and is soft to the touch without hard or crunchy parts. A ripe mango should feel very supple upon touching.

Mangoes vary depending on variety and season when it comes to their ripening timeframes, so keep this in mind when shopping at stores, and avoid purchasing any that have lost flavor or may have become discolored from overripeness. If you buy one that has yet to ripen correctly, place it in the produce drawer immediately to consume it within days, as it won’t keep for long once past its prime. To speed up this process further, try covering them in a newspaper or placing them near bananas, apples, or other fruits that produce natural ethylene gas– an effective ripening agent – to hasten the process faster!