Mangoes are ready to eat if the flesh gives way slightly when you squeeze them gently. If you’re looking for ripe mangoes in your supermarket or greengrocer, ask the assistant for some help because mangoes are highly perishable and don’t survive endless prodding and poking on retailer’s shelves. Another good way to tell is to smell the stem end: If it gives off a fruity aroma, you’re ready for a real treat.
BUT WHEN IS A MANGO RIPE AND READY TO EAT?
Mangoes vary from green to yellow to purplish-red, so colour is not an indicator of whether a mango is ripe. The only way to tell is to squeeze it gently. If the flesh gives way slightly, smell the stem end. If you’re rewarded with that distinctive mango aroma, the fruit is just waiting to be eaten. This is the best mango to buy if you want to snack on one immediately. If, however, you want to keep a couple at home for the kids, buy mangoes with firmer flesh. They’ll ripen if you place them next to fruit that’s already ripe e.g. bananas. Once ripe, place your mangoes in the fridge. They are delicious when eaten cold, and by putting them in the fridge you will extend their shelf life. Once you remove them from the fridge, you will need to consume them that same day as they deteriorate fast.
TWO EASY WAYS TO EAT A MANGO
- Insert a sharp knife into your mango until you strike the seed. Cut around the seed, lengthways or widthways. Twist your mango in two – the seed will separate from one half and stay lodged in the other. Remove the seed, slice and enjoy!!
- Cut two thick slices lengthways off both sides of your unpeeled mango. Cut diagonal lines through the flesh down to the skin and repeat in die opposite direction to form a diamond or cube pattern. Flip the slices inside out and eat with a fork. Can even be used as a garnish method.
HANDLING AND STORING MANGOES
A mature mango doesn’t take kindly to temperatures below 10ºC. Ripe ones can be kept between 7 and 8 degrees. Be careful with Heidi and Zill mangoes. They have a sensitive peel and do not store well at temperatures below 7 degrees. For more technical information, please go to the technical page.
STORING AND RIPENING MANGOES
In order to store mangoes correctly, one needs to understand the difference between “maturity” and “ripening”
Maturity: A mature mango is one which, when picked, will ripen when placed at the correct temperature.
Ripening: During ripening, a mango softens, becomes juicy and develops its wonderful flavours and aromas.
Mangoes should be ripened at 18 to 23 degrees Celsius. The higher the ripening temperature within this range, the greater the rate of ripening. Relative humidity should be maintained at 90%. Ripening can be expected to occur after 3 to 14 days from the time of fruit exposure to ripening temperatures. Temperatures beyond the range in question may cause incomplete colour development, and temperatures below the range may cause the fruit to shrivel.
Store ripe mangoes at 11 to 15 degrees Celsius and at a relative humidity of 90%. Shelf-life will be longer at the lower temperatures and shorter at the higher temperatures within the above stated range. A shelf-life of up to 14 days can be expected.