When it comes to ripening mangoes, patience is key. Mangoes are typically picked when they are not quite ripe and then allowed to ripen off the tree. To help them along,
Unripe mangoes, place the mangoes in a paper bag or newspaper, wrap them around the mango, and close it up so there are no gaps or holes.
Then, place the bag in a warm spot (but not too warm), such as on top of your refrigerator or near a window that gets indirect sunlight. Leave the mango in this spot for 3-4 days until it softens slightly and begins to turn yellow.
Once the fresh mango has softened, remove it from the paper bag and place it on your kitchen counter. The key here is to leave it out so that all sides can be exposed to air, which will help speed up the ripening process. Depending on how unripe they were when you started, this step should take 1-2 days.
After softening the delicious mango, place it on your kitchen counter. The key here is to leave it out so that all sides can be exposed to air, which will help speed up the process. Depending on how unripe this step should take 1-2 days.
How To Ripen a Mangoes Quickly
If you want to accelerate ripening even faster, try placing an apple or banana in with your mango in its paper bag. Both fruits release ethylene gas around the mango ethylene gas, an odorless gas, which helps speed up ripening time significantly.
Just make sure not to leave them together for more than 2 days, as this can promote over-ripening.
Let the mangoes sit in a bowl of uncooked rice overnight, and then they will ripen and be ready to eat in no time.
Perfectly Ripe Quick Methods
- Paper bag (add ripe bananas or apples to speed it up)
- Cardboard Box
- Windowsill (Sunshine)
What Does a Ripe Mango Look Like?
Mangoes come in various colors - from vibrant reds to sunny yellows and deep greens. The color and texture are the best way to identify if it’s ripe. Depending on the varieties of mangoes, soft and slightly squishy skin will have a good amount of yellow, orange, or red coloring.
If they have primarily green coloring, it’s not quite ripe yet—but don’t worry! You can leave mangoes at room temperature until it develops more color and ripens further.
Another sign of mango to ripen is its fragrance—smell it; it should be sweet and fragrant to be fully ripe. If your mango doesn't have much of an aroma, it's probably too early in the maturing process.
A third indicator is its firmness and weight—a fully-ripened one will have some give when gently pressed but still feel heavy for its size.
Be careful not to press too hard, as doing so may bruise the flesh underneath.
Mangoes On the Vine vs. Off the Vine
Explore the differences between vine and off-vine mangoes.
Ripening Mango On the Vine
Mangos are delicious in their own right, but there are some benefits to letting them ripen on the vine. First and foremost is that you get to enjoy them at their peak flavor. When they reach full ripeness on the vine, it develops their most entire sweetness and juiciness.
This means that when you bite into it, you get that wonderful flavor in every bite! Mangos picked too soon will not have as much flavor or sweetness as those allowed to mature on the vine.
Ripening mangoes on the vine also allows them to develop unique flavors and aromas that can’t be found in store-bought ones.
As they age, mangos begin to produce esters, compounds with fruity aromas and flavors that make them even more delicious! These compounds will only form when mangos are allowed to ripen naturally on the tree.
Ripening Mango Off the Vine
If your mango isn't ripe yet, don't worry. You can use several methods to ripen it quickly and easily without sacrificing quality.
One easy way to ripen it is by placing it in a paper bag with an apple or banana. Exposure to ethylene - which these fruits contain- will speed up the ripening process. You can also place your mango in direct sunlight for a few hours, but be sure not to leave it too long as this could create spoilage.
Mango Tips and Warnings:
Mangos are delicious and nutritious tropical fruits that can be enjoyed in various ways. Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your mango experience:
- Choose firm, heavy mangos for their size and free of any soft spots.
- Store unripe ones at room temperature. Once ripe, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Cut the flesh away from the pit using a cutting board and then use a spoon or paring knife to scoop out cubes of mango meat. The skin can be eaten too!
- Try adding mango to your favorite smoothie or fruit salad. It also makes a great topping for yogurt, oatmeal, and cereal.
- If using mango in a savory dish, try pairing it with protein like grilled chicken or shrimp and herbs and spices like cilantro, jalapeno, and lime juice.
- Don't eat any part of the mango pit, as it can be toxic.
- Be careful when cutting a mango, as the skin can be pretty slippery.
- If you are allergic to latex, contact your doctor before eating mangos, as some people have reported reactions to mango skin.
- People with diabetes should monitor their blood sugar levels when eating mango, as it does contain a significant amount of sugar.
- They can cause stomach upset in some people, so start with small amounts and only increase your intake gradually if no adverse reactions occur.
What To Do If Your Mango Has Black Spots?
Don’t be fooled! If your mango has black spots on its skin, don’t worry - this doesn’t necessarily mean that the fruit inside is bad. The presence of dark spots could mean that the mango hasn’t been stored correctly or that some areas of mold are present in the flesh (so make sure you cut a mango away from any affected areas before consuming).
However, if your mango feels soft when pressed or has an unpleasant smell, you should avoid eating it altogether, as this indicates spoilage.
Storing Mangoes for Optimal Freshness
Countertop Storage: once you get home with your mangoes, leave them out overnight on your kitchen counter if you plan to eat them within a day, possibly 2-3 days. Avoid placing them in the refrigerator because cold temperatures will slow the ripening process and keep them from becoming as sweet as possible!
Sniff & Touch Test After 12-24 hours on your kitchen counter overnight, give each mango a little sniff test and touch test to ensure they’re nice and ripe before storing them away. If they’re still hard to the touch or don’t smell sweet enough, leave them out another day until they pass both tests!
Storing in an Airtight Container Once your mangoes pass the sniff and touch tests, transfer them into an airtight container and place in the refrigerator immediately. This will help prevent bacteria from forming on their skin and keep your fruit fresh longer—up to 1-2 weeks.
Wrap Individually To extend their shelf life further, wrap each mango with wax paper or parchment paper before storing it away in an airtight container. The extra layer of protection helps trap moisture around the fruit, which prevents it from drying out prematurely!
You can also wrap each fruit in a newspaper if that’s what you have available. Make sure not to store more than two layers of wrapped mangoes together per container.
How to Identify a Ripe Mango
If it feels overly soft, it may be overripe and not have the best flavor. Avoid mangos with green patches on them; these will not be fully ripened yet and won't taste as sweet or juicy as they would otherwise.
How To Ripen Mango In The Microwave
Then, cook for about 10 seconds on full power before flipping over the fruit and microwaving it for another 10 to 15 seconds on lower power. Wait for it to cool down before cutting into it. Repeat until the softness is desired.
Keep in mind that microwaving a mango can sometimes cause it to become overly soft or mushy, so use this method sparingly.