Mangoes are a sweet, juicy, and delicious treat that are perfect in a range of starters, mains, and desserts, making them a highly versatile option for any cook. Similarly, they are a delicious fruit to eat on their own and work well in drinks too.
Are you looking to ripen mangoes of your own? perhaps you just want to know how to tell when a mango is ripe? maybe you would like some tips on how to cut a mango or are looking for the nutritional information behind them? Well, if any of these statements sound like you, then you are certainly in the right place because we are about to dive in and address each of those points.
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Speed up the Ripening Process
To the untrained eye, it can be difficult to tell when a mango is ripe and ready for eating, and sometimes the process can take a little longer than expected, but there is a little hack that you can utilize to speed the growth process up, and it is related to a gas emitted by the mango named ‘Ethylene’. Ethylene is a gas that fruits release, and it triggers hormone production and, therefore, growth.
The trick is to place your mango or mangoes into a closed paper bag. What happens here is that the ethylene gas gets trapped in the bag, and as a result, there is a higher concentration of ethylene surrounding the fruit, so it grows a little faster.
5 Ways to tell if your mango is ripe
Look at it
The first way of telling if a mango is ripe is by looking at it. No, we are not trying to be sarcastic, but it is true. A ripe mango will typically have a rounded football-like shape to it when ripe. A couple of varieties have an ovular shape to them when they are ripe, but the majority are rounded.
You can always look for speckles or small brown dots. This may not be a conclusive indication of their ripening, but many mango varieties do well with a speckles test. There may be stray cases of no speckles on the skin but the mango being ripe inside, but as a general rule, speckles are a sign that your mango is ripe and ready to enjoy.
Thirdly, you can always do what is called the ‘stem test’. This is where you examine the area around the stem to see how plump it is. The less flat and plumper it is, the more likely it is to be near a ripe state.
Once the fruit ripens, the fruit becomes a little plumper, and this is especially obvious near the stem. It will give an appearance as it has significantly risen from its previous position. Have you ever been at a supermarket or store, played with a mango, or even sniffed them? The smell of the fruit is particularly strong near its stem. This is one of the reasons why we generally whiff mangoes before we cart them at stores.
The Touch Test
Another method that works is the touch test. A ripe mango will give in where its flesh is, or you may create a light indent when you give light pressure with your touch. Always feel the fruit on its side where the flesh is more. A ripen mango is soft inside. You must take care to not press too hard on the sides, or you may bruise the fruit. The best way to conduct this test is to hold the fruit in your hands and give very light pressure with the ball of your palms.
The Weighing Scale Test
Finally, a ripe mango is typically heavier than an unripe one, so get the weighing scales out when in doubt!
Now What? Cutting the Mango
Cutting a mango properly is super easy; you just need to read up on how to do it first; otherwise, you might do it wrong and waste some of that beautiful flavour. Here is how we recommend you cut your mango:
- Wash the mango, your hands, the surface you are cutting on, and your knife. Hygiene is always important in food preparation, even if it is only a fruit.
- Find the stem, make sure it is on top and cut around the pit.
- Once you locate the stem, make a vertical cut 1/4? away from this midline, then make the same cut on the other side. This should leave you with two large pieces of mango that are curved on the skin side and yellow and flat on the inside.
- With the mango stabilized on a flat surface, make vertical slices without cutting through the skin. At this point you can use a large spoon to detach the flesh from the skin and scoop out, or you can slice the flesh in the other direction without cutting through the skin. This will give you a grid-like pattern that looks like this:
Ripe mangoes should be kept in the fridge; this will halt the ripening process and keep the fruit from turning to mush. But if that mango is the slightest bit underripe, you’ll want to keep it at room temperature until it’s soft and ready to eat. Exposing it to cold temperatures (like your fridge) before it’s ripe will upset the process and lead to unpleasant texture changes.
If you have found a ‘ready to eat’ mango, look to leave it in the fridge until you are ready to eat it, because leaving a ready-to-eat mango outside for too long will make it go off much faster. If you are to keep it in the fridge, it will last up to five days.
Mango Loco – 5 fun facts about mangoes
Mango is a fun fruit, so it is only right that we include a couple of fun mango facts for you before we go:
- There are over 500 mango fruit varieties grown all over the world, and most of them ripen in summer. Although their sizes, shape, color and sweetness vary, they all have a single flat, elliptical pit that does not easily separate from the pulp.
- The vitamin content of mango varies depending on the variety and maturity of the fruit. While green mangoes still have higher vitamin C content, as the fruit ripens and matures, the amount of vitamin A it contains increases.
- Although available and considered a staple fruit in Africa and many Asian countries, mangoes are still considered exotic in America. You can find mangos online for a limited time, so hurry and order mangoes while they are in season to enjoy their creamy, sugary-sweet goodness, which you cannot find in other fruit.
- Mango is the national fruit of India, Pakistan, and the Philippines and the national tree of Bangladesh.
- In Australia, the first tray of mangoes of the season is traditionally sold at an auction for charity.
When you apply light pressure to the sides of the mango, you should feel the flesh “give” a little or indent. A soft mango is a ripe mango. A mango that does not cave to pressure or one that feels hard as a rock is nowhere near ripe enough to eat.
Some mangoes change color as they ripen, and if you know what color to look for, for that variety of mango, you’ll be on your way to having a good indication of knowing if your mango is ripe. Color is just one aspect.
Move the mango to a refrigerator once ripe. A ripe mango must be eaten immediately or stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. The cold temperatures that are the natural enemy of an unripe mango are the best friend of a ripe mango. Leaving a ripe mango on the counter at room temperature will make it go bad within the day.
They’ll be no green anywhere. That’s the first sign of the stem to find out when is a mango ripe. Another sign of the stem that you can look for is that it starts to ooze out the mango juice.
All you have to do is pick up a mango and squeeze it. Did the mango give a little? Then it’s ripe and ready to eat! If the mango is harder, give it a few more days to ripen or choose a different one. You can always choose less ripe mangos, put them in a paper bag when you get home and wait for them to achieve ultimate ripeness.