Mangoes are as healthy as they are flavorful. They’re also a key ingredient in some of the most delicious dishes out there—from savory curries to mouthwatering smoothies. The fruit is also incredibly rich in vitamins and has even been linked to improving skin and heart health. To get the most out of your mango (both nutritionally and taste-wise), it’s important to select the fruit at the right level of ripeness. But knowing how to tell if a mango is ripe (much like cutting a mango or spelling the plural), can be tricky. For a firm answer, we went straight to the source: the National Mango Board. Keep reading for a few tips on how to determine if a mango is ripe.
1. Use Touch
While the ripeness of many fruits can be gauged by color, this isn’t the case with mangoes. Mangoes are relatively juicy, so firmly feeling one is a good way to find out if it’s ripe. Just grip the mango in your hand and gently squeeze. A ripe mango will feel a bit soft and won’t be completely hard.
2. Play by Avocado Rules
If you’re more experienced at selecting avocados than mangoes, you’re in luck; the same rules for ripeness apply to both foods. Much like avocados, mangoes have a firm exterior but should feel soft as you squeeze. Similarly, an overripe mango will feel much like an overripe avocado—not just soft, but squishy and prone to bruising.
3. Allow Mangoes to Ripen Naturally
A firm mango can be left to ripen at room temperature (on the kitchen counter is best). If you’re in a rush, you can expedite the process by simply placing the mango in a brown paper bag for a day or two. Just be sure to check on its progress so that it doesn’t accidentally overripen.
For a visual guide to determining mango ripeness, head over the National Mango Board’s website to view its delightfully informative video on mango ripeness.