March 3, 2024
Learn how to identify the perfect mango every time with our step-by-step guide and helpful tips. Discover the stages of mango ripening, how to tell a ripe mango from an unripe one, and recipe ideas for using ripe mangoes.


When it comes to mangoes, it can be difficult to tell when they are ripe and ready to eat. Whether you are shopping for mangoes at the grocery store or farmer’s market, or have a tree full of mangoes in your own backyard, knowing how to identify a ripe mango is important in ensuring you get the best taste and flavor. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide and helpful tips on how to tell if a mango is ripe and ready to eat.

Step-by-Step Guide

One of the easiest ways to tell if a mango is ripe is by looking at its skin color and texture. Ripe mangoes typically have a golden yellow or orange-red skin color. You should avoid mangoes with a green skin color as they are most likely unripe. Additionally, a ripe mango should feel slightly soft to the touch, but not overly mushy. To check for firmness, gently apply pressure to the mango with your fingertips. If it gives slightly, it is ripe and ready to eat.

A few other visual cues to look for when identifying a ripe mango include:

  • The skin may have a slightly wrinkled appearance
  • The fragrance should be sweet and fruity
  • Some varieties may have a red or pink blush on their skin

If you are unsure if a mango is ripe or not, you can also try smell the stem end of the fruit. A ripe mango will have a sweet, fragrant smell.

Ripening Process

Mangoes go through three stages of ripeness: green, mature, and overripe. The ripening process is affected by a variety of environmental factors, such as temperature and humidity levels. Mangoes should be stored at room temperature until they are ready to eat or are fully ripened. Avoid refrigerating mangoes until they have been fully ripened as it can slow down the ripening process. If you want to speed up the ripening process of a mango, place it in a paper bag with an apple or banana. This will help to trap the ethylene gas that fruit produces and ripen the mango more quickly.


It may be difficult to tell the difference between a ripe and unripe mango, so it’s important to know what to look for when making your selection. Ripe mangoes are typically yellow or orange in color, while unripe mangoes are green. Unripe mangoes have a tough texture and are extremely sour in taste. Ripe mangoes, on the other hand, are softer to the touch, have a sweet smell, and have a slightly wrinkled appearance.

If you want to avoid purchasing an unripe mango, try purchasing one with the stem still attached. Mangoes that have had the stems removed have a higher chance of being overripe or underripe. Additionally, avoid purchasing mangoes that have visible bruises or cuts as they may have already begun to rot.

Recipe Recommendations

Ripe mangoes can be used in a variety of recipes, both sweet and savory. Some recipe suggestions include:

  • Mango salsa
  • Mango smoothies
  • Mango sorbet or ice cream
  • Mango chutney
  • Mango chicken curry

When selecting mangoes for your favorite recipe, it’s best to choose ones that are fully ripe for optimal flavor and texture.

Bonus Tips

Here are a few additional tips and tricks to help you with selecting and storing mangoes:

  • To store ripe mangoes, place them in a plastic bag and store them in the refrigerator for up to three days
  • If you have a lot of mangoes that are ripening at once, you can freeze them for later use. To freeze mangoes, peel and cut them into small pieces, then place in an airtight container or freezer bag.


Knowing how to identify a ripe mango is an important skill for anyone who loves mangoes. By following our step-by-step guide and helpful tips, you can now confidently select the perfect mango every time. Whether you enjoy them fresh, in a smoothie, or in a savory recipe, ripe mangoes are sure to please your taste buds.

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