If there is one fruit that is notoriously difficult to judge while sitting at the store in the produce section, it’s mango.
While a ripe mango can be one of the sweetest and most delicious fruits on the planet, far too often, it’s easy to pick a flavorless underripe mango or one that is already too ripe and inedible.
Here are 4 tips to help you pick the perfect mango at the store:
1. Ignore the mango’s color!
Mango varies widely throughout its different varietals and origins, so while one mango might be ripe when the fruit’s skin turns bright red, another mango might be overripe at this point. Color isn’t important when judging the ripeness of a mango.
2. Focus on how it feels
No matter what varietal of mango you’re choosing, a ripe mango will almost always feel firm but slightly soft. If a mango gives in to pressure too easily, it’s overripe. If it’s hard as a rock, it isn’t ripe yet.
3. Take a whiff
Smell can also distinguish the perfect mango from one that is merely okay. Be sure to bring the mango close and take a sniff. If the mango has a sweet, but not overwhelming or rotting scent, it’s probably right in its sweet spot.
4. Examine the mango’s shape
The perfect mango is neither too thin nor too round. A quality mango will have an egg or football-like shape. This will help you find a mango with a good amount of the precious fruit that makes mangoes so special.