How To Pick a Mango at the Grocery Store (Buy the Right Mangoes)

Texture, color, and appearance are the best cues for choosing the right mango at the grocery store.

So, you can pick a ripe mango at the grocery store by feeling it for a bit of softness, which tells you that the fruit is okay to eat. Likewise, you can choose a slightly unripe mango at the store by feeling it to see that it’s still a little hard on the inside.

All this may not be very clear. Thus, I recommend you keep reading to learn how to choose the right mango whenever you’re at the store.

How Do You Tell If a Mango Is Ripe in the Store?

Storeowners might put signs telling you not to play with the mangoes before buying them. But then, how do we know what’s ripe and what isn’t if we don’t play around with them?

You can – and you don’t have to let it look like you’re playing with the mango. Here’s what to check:

  • Color. ONLY check the mango color if you’re sure what mango varieties are in season and what ripening colors the mangoes have. Otherwise, you’re better off with the other techniques alone.
  • Check the skin. Avoid choosing overripe mango by looking for signs of blackening or over tenderness on the skin. You can still eat overripe mango, but that might not be what you’re looking for.
  • Texture. Place the mango in your palm and give it the lightest squeeze. If it gives, then it’s ripe enough to be eaten. If it’s hard, it’s still unripe.
  • Weight. Ripe mangoes weigh more than unripe mangoes. Likewise, weight is an excellent way to choose mangoes left to ripen on the tree, thus, sweeter!

How to Pick an Unripe Mango in the Store?

Some people (like me) like to pick unripe mangoes that ripen at home so that I can keep enjoying my supply all week long without worrying about the mango getting spoiled.

So, you can pick unripe mangoes by checking for the ripening colors if you know what mango varieties you’re dealing with. In most cases, unripe mangoes are green and only start taking their full ripe shade after a while.

Otherwise, you can also pick up the mango and give it a light squeeze. An unripe mango will be rock hard.

Suggested Read: Can You Eat Unripe Mangoes?

What Should a Mango Look Like When You Buy It?

The right mango shouldn’t have any strange markings on the body, be sufficiently ripe, and have clear skin. This ensures you’re getting healthy mango that’s safe to eat.

4 Simple Checks on a Ripe Mango

In summary, here are the things to look out for on a mango, whether ripe or unripe:

  • Clear skin. You don’t want to see whitish mold or strange colors on the mango. However, tree sap is a nice ‘stain’ to have.
  • Clean skin. Besides clear skin, you don’t want a mango that looks damaged in part. That may have allowed some micro-organisms in, making it unsafe for you.
  • Ripeness. Check that the mango is sufficiently ripe for you. Look for your taste, whether you want your mango just ripe, overripe, or unripe.

Oh, lest I forget, make sure it looks like a mango too (ha-ha).

How Can You Tell If a Mango Is Sweet at the Store?

There’s no sure way to tell a sweet mango from an unsweet mango. However, you can increase your chances of landing a sweet mango by buying from a reputable fresh farm supply store, buying ripe mangoes, and choosing sweeter varieties.

The “sniff test” to tell a ripe mango

Here are some things I’ll do to increase my chances of landing a sweeter mango:

  • Choose ripe mangoes. Ripe mangoes are sweeter than unripe ones, even though I sometimes prefer the slightly unripe ones.
  • Choose overripe mangoes. You can buy and eat overripe mangoes if you’re comfortable with them. They’re usually a little more juicy and sweeter.
  • Buy from fresh farm stores. Imported mangoes have been preserved for a while, so they may lose some good taste. Fresh from the farm, you get all that goodness in a drupe!
  • Check for sap lines. Most mangoes are imported and weren’t harvested when ripe. So, I look for the tree sap stain, which shows the mango was left to ripen on the tree.
  • Choose the right variety. If you know your mango varieties, here’s the time to put them into play. For instance, honey mango is sweeter than regular mango.

There’s no guarantee that these pointers will always get you the sweetest mangoes. However, they increase your chances of landing the sweetest ones.

Enjoy Your Store-Bought Mangoes

I believe you now have all it takes to pick the right mango at the grocery store, whether ripe or unripe. Plus, you should be able to tell whether a mango will be sweeter.

So, I hope you get to try out this new knowledge soon and let me know how it goes.

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