How to Tell If a Mango Is Ready to Eat

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Mango lovers, it’s time to rejoice! Ever wonder how to tell if a mango is ready to eat? This post covers everything you need to know about a mango’s ripeness, from the color to the texture. 🥭🥭

Mangoes are delicious stone fruit that is grown in tropical locations around the world. They’re called a “stone fruit” due to the pit in the middle.

They’re part of the drupe family, which along with mangoes, includes peaches, nectarines, and plums.

Mango’s flesh can be sweet or somewhat tart, depending on its variety and the stage of its ripeness. The meat will also be firmer if it is ripe and less firm if it is unripe.

Note: 🥭 An unripe mango will continue to develop as it ripens, becoming sweeter and more intense.

Choosing The Best Mango

How do I choose a good mango? When choosing a mango, at the grocery store, make sure to pick one that is a vibrant shade of either yellow, orange or red.

Also, pay attention to the texture and the scent of the mango. Ripe mangoes are soft and fragrant, while unripened mangoes are hard (like an unripe avocado) and don’t smell sweet.

mango varieties piled up at farmer's market
Mangoes at the local Farmer’s Market | Photo by Fikri Rasyid on Unsplash

Related: 4 Easy Ways to Ripen a Mango

What are the best mango varieties?

America is home to a plethora of delicious mango varieties, each with its own unique flavor and texture. Among the most popular mango varieties in the United States are Tommy Atkins, Alphonso, Ataulfo, Haden, Haitian, and Keitt.

These are the different varieties of mango you’ll find in U.S. grocery stores. Tommy Atkins variation is the most prevalent.

alphonso mangoesataulfo mangohaden mangoeshaitian mangoeskeitt mangotommy atkins mango
AlphonsoAtaulfoHadenHaitianKeittTommy Atkins
Color when ripegold w/ a red blushgoldred & yellowyellow & goldgreen & pinkdark red
Color when unripeyellow-greenyellowred & greenyellow & greengreenyellow & green
Most popular mango varieties in the United States

1. Tommy Atkins Mangoes 🥭

Tommy Atkins mangoes are medium-sized, green, and have a bright red blush on the fruits when the ripening process is complete. The mangoes’ growing season is from March to October.

tommy atkins mango 1
Tommy Atkins Mango | Photo by Mockup Graphics on Unsplash

2. Keitt Mangoes 🥭

Keitt mangoes are green when ripe and grow from July to September. They are medium to large, weighing in at 2-4 pounds.

3. Palmer Mangoes 🥭

Palmer mangoes are medium to large and have a dark green color with a red blush when ripe. They grow from August to October.

4. Ataulfo Mangoes 🥭

Ataulfo mangoes are a small to medium mango variety that is gold in color when ripe. It grows from July to February and can be found in most grocery stores.

5. Alphonso Mangoes 🥭

Indian Alphonso Mangoes, aka “The King of Mangoes,” are a deep golden color when ripe. They’re available from April through June.

6. Haden Mangoes 🥭

The Haden mango is a red fruit with yellow blush colors when it’s ripe. It’s usually available year-round.

Haden mango
Haden Mango | Photo by Mockup Graphics on Unsplash

7. Haitian Mangoes 🥭

A Haitian mango is typically yellow and gold when ripe. It is available from April through June.

8. Kent Mangoes 🥭

Kent mangoes turn from green to red as they ripen. They’re available all year long but are at their peak in the fall and early winter.

How should I store my Mangoes?

Mangoes can be stored in the fridge, left at room temperature, or preserved in the freezer. It all depends on their ripeness state and when you plan to eat them

Room Temp:

A ripe to semi-ripe mango can be stored at room temperature for 5-7 days. Keep your mango in a dry spot with direct sunlight. Once it’s ripe, eat it within a couple of days for the best taste.


A ripe, fresh mango will last for about five days in the refrigerator, while chopped or sliced mango flesh will last for three days in an airtight container (in the fridge).

blending frozen mango chunks
Blending frozen mango chunks | Photo by Nicola Barts


If you’re looking for an easy and delicious way to preserve your mangoes, chopping them up and freezing them is the way to go! Simply chop your mangoes up and place them in airtight freezer bags.

Mangoes’ll last for about 3 months at these freezing cold temperatures; longer if you use a vacuum sealer to store them.

How to Tell If a Mango Is Ready to Eat

The following 3 steps are a surefire way to know whether or not your delicious tropical fruit (yes, mangoes) is ripe.

  1. Check Mango Color
  2. Check Mango Softness
  3. Smell The Mango

Step 1: Check the Mango Color

Most unripened mangoes are completely yellow or completely green. Ripe mangoes will most often be red, orange, and yellow. A lot of mango varieties can be a mixture of warm colors. Patches of red are a good indicator of overall ripeness.

Step 2: Check Mango Softness

The best way to know if a mango is ready to eat is by giving it a gentle squeeze. Just like you’d check to see if an avocado is ripe by gently applying pressure to it, the same goes for mangoes.

A ripe mango will be soft to the touch.

Step 3. Smell The Mango

Ripe mango fruit gives off a sweet aroma similar to a melon. If you’re still unsure of a mango’s ripeness after looking at its color and feeling its texture, try giving it a smell.

In summary, you’ll know you’ve got ripe fruit if it smells sweet like a melon, is red/yellow/orange in color, and is soft to the touch.

Note: Some folks also swear that you can tell if a mango is ripe by looking at the stem end, but I’m not quite sure about this method.

Frequently Asked Questions

When you’re looking for mango recipes or need to know how to store mangoes, these are some of the most frequently asked questions.

What Color Is A Ripe Mango?

Regardless of the color of the mango, you are holding; it’s not the most crucial factor in determining ripeness. Mangoes transition between different colors, from green to a variation of yellow-orange, but it depends on the varietal of fruit.

Green mangoes are almost always a telltale sign of unripeness.

What’s the quickest way to ripen a mango?

The fastest way to ripen a mango is to place it in a brown paper bag with another mango or a banana. Mangos, bananas, and apples all give off ethylene gas as they ripen.

The more ethylene gas they’re exposed to, the faster they ripen. Placing the whole fruit in a paper bag allows it to breathe while trapping in most of this odorless gas.

If you’re looking for a complete guide on how to easily and quickly ripen your mangoes, check out this post I wrote:

How can I tell if my mango is rotten?

You’ll know.

In Summary

Now that you know how to tell if your mango is ripe, it’s time to go shopping. Whether you’re planning on venturing into the Florida Everglades in search of sweet fruit (mangos, not alligators) or your local farmer’s market, these simple steps will have you relishing in Mango heaven in no time.

Like my grandpappy used to say when he sat under his mango trees while eating his fruit salads, “These fruits are good enough to make a mango crazy!”

how to tell if a mango is ready to eat pinterest
Avatar of Kelsey Todd
Kelsey may not know everything about coffee, but after two decades as a barista in Seattle and Santa Barbara, he knows a thing or two. When he's not obsessing over the perfect cup, you can find him hanging out with his wife and daughter or sharing his java gems on this here blog.

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