Are you a first-time mango buyer with no idea how to store mangoes? Or maybe you’re not sure how to tell if your mango is already ripe or not? If either is true, you’re in the right place.
Mangoes may seem a bit tricky at first, but they’re not. If you think about it, the way you store them is quite similar to how you keep bananas or avocados. And that’s not that difficult, isn’t it?
But before we get to the storage part, you need to know if your mangoes are ripe or not. And that’s an excellent place to start.
When is a Mango Ripe?
The most important factor to consider is how the fruit feels in hand. The flesh should give a little under gentle pressure, but not a lot (mushy is overripe) ([MAR]). If it’s still firm, it’s unripe.
Color is the next thing to look at. When mango ripens, it turns from green to orange or red, depending on the variety ([MAR]). What’s important is that you shouldn’t wait for the whole fruit to turn red or orange. Even a fully ripe mango usually has some greenish areas (see my mango above).
The last possible sign of ripeness is a sweet fragrance ([MAR]). In my experience, not all ripe mangoes smell sweet. The ones that I buy usually don’t have any noticeable smell. Or maybe my sense of smell is all messed up, who knows.
As I mentioned, the feel is what you should focus on. If the mango feels somewhat soft, but much of the skin is still green, it is most likely ripe and ready for you to eat.
Now that you know if your fruit is ripe or not, we can talk about where to put it.
How To Store Unipe Mangoes
If your mangoes aren’t ripe, keep them at room temperature (between 64-71°F or 18-22°C) and out of the sun ([MAS]).
Putting them into the fridge so that they mature more slowly isn’t a good idea – you shouldn’t refrigerate unripe mangoes ([MAS]).
When it comes to how long it takes for a mango to ripen, it all depends on the fruit. If it’s evenly green and very firm, expect it to be ready for consumption within five days to a week. If it’s already starting to turn red, it should be ready within two to three days.
Like with other fruits that are still maturing, give your mangos a quick check every day.
How To Store Ripe Mangoes
The best place to store ripe mangoes is the fridge. A whole mango should keep for up to five days in the refrigerator ([SFR, MAS]). If you’re lucky, you might get an extra day or two.
Of course, you can leave the ripe fruit on the counter or in a fruit basket.
The issue with that is the mango will continue maturing quickly and will be overripe within a couple of days. If you know you’ll eat it the next day, leaving it at room temperature overnight is no big deal.
How To Store Cut Mangoes
If you have some mango leftovers you need to store, there’s no magic to it. Put them in an airtight container and into the refrigerator. The leftovers should keep pretty good quality for 2 to 3 days.
I keep the leftover mango peeled and sliced or diced. This way, it’s easy to grab some here and there, and the container always gets emptied way before the fruit loses quality.
If you struggle with finishing leftovers before they spoil, try doing the same.
As you can tell by now, storing mango is quite similar to how you store kiwi.
How To Tell If Mango Is Bad?
First off, many mangoes have some skin blemishes and marks. As you can tell yourself, the one that I photographed for this article surely does. The color, in most cases, isn’t uniform either. Both things are perfectly okay, and the fruit is just fine ([MAR]).
Of course, if the marks and blemishes get out of hand and start to cover large areas of the skin, things aren’t that good. You can still peel that mango, but expect the flesh to be darkened and possibly spoiled.
Like with any fruit, watch out for any mold and mushiness of the flesh. The first is an obvious sign of spoilage, while the latter indicates that the fruit is overripe and you probably should get rid of it.
If there are some small sunken spots or bruises on the skin, you can cut them out (and some extra). If the rest of the flesh seems okay, usually there’s no need to discard the fruit. Like with all fruit and veggies, common sense is key here.
Last but not least, if anything about your mango feels off, discard it. Maybe it’s an odd smell, or it tastes weird. Or something isn’t quite right, and you can’t even pinpoint what. If that’s the case, get rid of it and grab another one.
FAQs about Mangoes
How To Ripen Mangoes Faster?
Mango is an ethylene-producing fruit, and it also reacts to the gas. Because of that, you can immediately speed up the ripening process by placing the fruit(s) in a sealed paper bag ([SFR]). This way, the gas is trapped and the fruit exposed to more of it.
If you’re in a real hurry, add another ethylene-producing fruit, like an avocado ([SFR]), an apple, or a banana.
In a Nutshell
- Ripe mangoes give a little under gentle pressure. Usually, they turn from green to red but don’t expect the whole fruit to be uniform in color.
- Keep unripe mangoes at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. Ripening takes between a day and a week, depending on the fruit.
- Store mature mangoes in the refrigerator, where they retain quality for around five days.
- Keep cut mango in an airtight container in the fridge.