Which Mangoes Are Sour (Can You Eat Sour Mangoes)

Unripe mangoes can have a sour taste while other mangoes (like the Kothakku/Kotakku) can taste sour when fully ripe.

However, this sour taste doesn’t mean these mangos can’t be eaten or used to cook.

So, keep reading to find out which mangoes are sour, if these mangoes can be sweetened, and how to eat them.

Are Some Mangoes Sour?

Yes, some mangoes are sour. Unripe mangoes are sour because they aren’t fully ripe, but some ripe mango varieties like Kothakku, Adai maangai, and Thayir kaaichi are also sour.

However, you shouldn’t assume that all sour mangoes are unripe, ripe, or going bad. Do a little more digging into the mango variety and cultivar to know if that’s a ripening cue, or if something else is at play.

How Can You Tell if a Mango Is Sour?

Here are six ways you can tell if a mango is sour.

Checking for Ripeness

Always check the mango’s ripeness before buying it. Various mangoes have distinct ways to tell whether they are ripe or not.

The easiest method is to give the mango a gentle yet firm press. When it’s a little soft, you know it’s ripe. If the mango is hard or doesn’t allow your finger to sink in a bit, then it’s unripe and would most likely still be sour.

Here’s a complete guide to picking ripe mangoes every time.

Checking the Variety

Knowing what mango varieties can help determine if it’ll be sour or not. 

Mangoes like the Ataulfo will be sweet when ripe, among other notable changes. Some other mangoes like the Rhino mango (which is best eaten green and young) and the Adai maangai mango can taste sour even when they are ripe.

Stem Check

If a mango’s stem is flat, that’s an indication that it’s unripe and will taste sour. When buying or picking any mango, ensure the skin around the stem is a bit round and plum. This shows that the sugar and nutrients are fully developed.


A ripe mango would have a strong fruity smell when sniffed around the stem. Conversely, unripe/sour mangoes would have a strong, acid-like smell, indicating that they need more time to ripen.

Weight Check

Unripe/sour mangoes will feel lighter than ripe ones. The ripe mangoes release more water (due to sugar breakdown) which makes them heavier than the unripe ones.

Have a Bite

You might find it hard to determine an unripe mango from a ripe one for various reasons, a single bite will help out with this.

Please don’t do this in grocery stores, though. Otherwise, you’ll have to buy the mango, regardless of whether it’s sour or sweet enough for you.

How to Eat Sour Mangoes?

I’ve summarized some ways to enjoy your sour mangoes.

Eat Thai Fruit Dip

The Vietnamese eat thin slices of sour mangoes mixed with chili pepper/fish sauce and a lot of sugar. This combination is said to be really addictive as you have a mix of sour and sweet tastes simultaneously.

Eat as a Standalone Snack

Some sour mangoes can be eaten alone since they have a sweet aftertaste mixing with the sour taste, causing a sweet-sour experience on your tongue.

Make a Salad

You can make a salad out of sour mango. Follow the steps below to make a perfect green mango salad:

  1. Peel and slice the mango into thin strips.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar until the sugar dissolves completely.
  3. Add cilantro, scallions, mint, and finally your sliced mango.
  4. Toss and add seasoning to taste.
  5. Finish it off by adding peanuts and red chili pepper.

Raw Mango Chutney

You can make mango chutney from your sour mango. Here’s how to go about making this;

  1. Mix sugar and vinegar in a pot.
  2. Boil and mix till sugar is fully dissolved.
  3. Add your diced sour mango, diced onion, ginger, garlic, mustard flake, and gold raisins to the mix.
  4. Let the mixture sit for about 1 hour then pour into a jar to cool.

How to Sweeten Sour Mango?

Need to sweeten your sour mango a little bit more? Here are three ways to do so:

  • Mix with sugar. You can cook your sour mango in sugar syrup to cover its acidity.
  • Allow it fully ripen. If the mango is unripe, allowing it to ripen should lessen the sour taste the mango has. There are a lot of ways you can ripen a mango, and some even work overnight!
  • Mix into a fruit salad. Your sour mango will be sweeter when you mix it with fruit salad. Combine it with fruits like banana, pineapple, and papaya, to have a balanced, sweet taste.


Which Is the Sourest Mango in India?

The Banganpalli/Safeda/Benishan mango is the sourest mango in India.

To Eat or Not To?

Sour mangoes might not be as sweet and savory as ripe ones, but they can surely satisfy some cravings. These mangoes are also beneficial to your health and can always stand in for most of your snacks.

So, don’t dispose of that mango because it’s sour. Rather, make it into a perfect dish.

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