How to Choose a Mango

While there are literally hundreds of varieties of mangos out there, each with their own unique flavor and texture, here are some basic guidelines you can use to make sure you get the best ripe mango.

  • Color is not always an indicator of ripeness. Some mangos stay green even when ripe while others may ripen into various shades of red, pink and yellow.
  • Choose one that is plump and heavy for its size.
  • Hold it up to your nose. It should smell fragrant.
  • Press the skin with your thumb. It should give slightly.
  • Mangos should not be mushy.
  • Refrigeration stops most mangos from ripening, so if you have an unripe mango, ripen it on the counter before refrigerating.

Green (unripe) mangos are tasty too! Use them in salads, curries and to make pickles.


  1. Oh…How I love Mango!!

  2. thanks! i love mangoes but have never been 100% sure how to buy one. but, judging by your criteria, i’ve guess pretty good in the past.

  3. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    Do you have a good recipe for green mango? I’ve had green papaya salad, but can’t remember ever eating green mango.

  4. Lydia: I have used green mangos in the past, but haven’t posted any recipes. That is something I am working on for a future post. You really can just add them into a basic green Thai curry along with any meat or other veggies you are using. They are tart, but not overly so, and hold up well to high temperature cooking.

  5. thank you! i’ve never been clear on how to find a ripe mango!

  6. I love mangoes! I used to hate them before I met my husband because I would always eat them before they were ripe, which robbed me of the sweet delicious taste I now love. It’s always tough to tell if they are ripe or not, so I’ll be sure to use your tips. My husband also loves the smaller orangish mangoes. I can’t remember exactly what they are called. We ate one last week and it was delicious!

  7. Great advice. Similar to buying a melon. Always get funny looks when I do that. 🙂

  8. hi there,
    jumped onto your blog through the foodie blogroll. YOu have some very amazing recipes here. great going.

  9. so often at the store the mangoes are faaaar from ripe. should i just try to pick a heavy one then and wait the week or so until it has that great ripe smell?

  10. Yup. You can pick an unripe one and let it ripen on the counter. Putting it in the fridge stops the ripening, so if you have a ripe mango, you can make it last a little longer by refrigerating it.

  11. Great post! Thanks for the advice.

  12. I always use criterion #3 and just love their aroma! We just got a box full of mangoes yesterday and looking at your photos reminded me of them!

  13. ooh, those mangoes look guuuuuuuuuuuuud 🙂

    and that’s all I have to say 🙂

  14. I recently discovered what a wonderful addition mangoes are to fruit pies. A few months ago I was making a peach pie and didn’t have enough peach, but I had a ripe mango and decided to add it to the mix. The result was a wonderfully tangy peach-mango pie. I later created what I call “berry berry mango” pie…a mix of strawberries, blueberries and mango. Quite wonderful, really.