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How to Choose a Mango

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The fruit of the mango tree is hardly considered “exotic” anymore. They can be found in most grocery stores almost all year round. However, sometimes choosing a good fruit can feel like an impossible task.

5-Minute Crafts wants to tell you how to spot a ripe fruit and speed up the ripening process of mangos if you bought them unripe.

Appearance

It’s hard to tell precisely what color a ripe mango fruit should be. It can be red, orange, yellow, or even completely green — it all depends on the type of fruit it is. The same thing applies to its shape. Some types of mangos have elongated or oval shapes while other types appear more like circles.

Despite differences in color, a mango’s peel must be smooth and even. Scratches, dents, and cracks on the skin are unacceptable. Rot and bacteria can easily get into the fruit through these, which why it’s better to opt for mangos with perfectly smooth skin.

An important note: Small black dots on mangos don’t mean that the fruit is damaged. They appear on ripe fruits that are ready to eat.

Softness

Ripe mangos are soft and firm at the same time. A shapeless fruit can turn out to be spoiled, while an overly firm one might be unripe.

In order to check the ripeness of the fruit, press it slightly with your finger. Ripe fruit will have a small dent left under it. If there’s a very visible and noticeable dent that was left after pressing the fruit, it’s likely that you’re holding an unfresh mango. If you feel that the fruit is too firm, it means it’s not ripe yet.

Smell

Ripe mangos always smell good. It can have a slightly fruity or even pine-ish aroma that will be sensed mainly in the area of the stalk. Some ripe fruits may even have juice on the stalk.

If the fruit doesn’t have any smell, it’s likely that it hasn’t ripened yet. If a mango has a sour smell, it means the fruit has started to go bad, and you shouldn’t buy it.

What type of mango you’d better stay away from

  • If the fruit has a wrinkled surface, it’s likely that it was picked from the tree too early and didn’t have time to ripen.
  • If the fruit extracts lots of juice when you press it, the mango is likely overripe and has started to go bad.
  • If the mango has a lackluster peel and dull coloring, it’s likely that this fruit has started to turn.
  • If the fruit is wet to the touch, don’t buy it. There’s a good chance that there was a spoiled fruit lying next to it, and mold could’ve already penetrated the mango that you picked up.

How to help mangos to ripen

If you’ve accidentally bought an unripe mango, there are several ways to help it ripen, fast.

  • In a dark place
    Put your mango in a storage room or a kitchen cabinet for a couple of days to speed up ripening. Don’t put the fruit into the fridge — it can ripen only in a warm place.
  • In a paper bag
    Leave the mango in a paper bag for several days. The fruit will intensively release ethylene in such conditions, thus helping itself to ripen.
  • In a bag with bananas
    Place some mango in one bag with 2-3 yellow bananas and leave the fruit at room temperature for 2-4 days. The fruit will release ethylene that will help it to ripen.
  • In rice
    Place mango in dry fresh rice, which will speed up the release of ethylene in the fruit. Therefore, the fruit will ripen faster.

An important note: make sure to check the mango while it’s ripening. It can overripen quite fast and start to go bad.

Preview photo credit 5-Minute Crafts
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