In this article, we'll be answering your top questions about mangoes, including what they taste like, what their texture is like and how to eat them, plus some tips and tricks you may not have known about.
Let's hop to it...
What Do Mangoes Taste Like?
When ripe, mangoes are some of the sweeter fruits in the supermarket produce section. Besides tasting sweet, they have a range of tastes from floral to citrusy depending on the mango. Some have a tropical flower flavor and aroma while others are almost orangy and fairly tart like lemon.
In some countries, mango is used in a variety of dishes while it's still unripe and very tart. At this stage, the mango tastes a lot like lime.
When mango is unripe, it's pretty hard and fibrous, but when it's ripe, it's very soft inside (the inside is the part you want to eat).
Ripe mango is silky and juicy while retaining a bit of a fibrous texture that may be described as somewhat stringy, but it's not a main feature. For the most part, ripe mango texture is squishy and soft.
How Can You Tell if a Mango is Sweet?
A ripe mango is a sweet mango. There are three key ways of telling when a mango is ripe: its color, how it feels in your hand and how it smells.
Unripe mango is vivid green, usually without any additional coloring. As it ripens, it starts to develop yellow to deep red hues, which can vary by type of mango. Ataulfo mangoes, for instance, turn cheery yellow when ripe and sweet.
Ripe mangoes are also semi-firm but noticeably soft when given a light squeeze. If there's no give, they're not quite ready, but your fingers shouldn't sink into them either, or they're overripe. Lastly, a sweet, ripe mango is fragrant while an unripe mango doesn't give off much of a scent.
What’s the Best Way to Eat a Mango?
Cutting into a mango can be tricky. There's a very large, hard pit in the middle that you'll need to get around. To accomplish this, it's best to cut lengthwise, placing your knife slightly off to the right rather than on the center part of the fruit.
If you start cutting and hit the hard pit, don't worry. Just start over again a little more to the right. Once you get the first piece, you should be able to see the pit and have an easier time of working around the rest of the fruit.
Now you'll have several strips of mango on the skin. If the fruit is ripe enough, you should be able to peel the skin off with your fingers. Alternatively, a neat trick is to cube the mango flesh without cutting through the skin so that you can either scoop the cubes off one by one or slice them off with a knife in ready-to-eat pieces.
What Fruit Goes Best with Mango?
There probably aren't many fruits that don't complement the flavor and texture of mango, but tropical fruits in general are solid choices.
Here are some of the most popular fruits to pair with mango:
- Cantaloupes and honeydew melons
Mango Serving Tips
The fantastic thing about mangoes is that you can use them in sweet or savory recipes. The flavor is adaptable in the most amazing ways, as you're about to find out.
This recipe is a take on a Thai green mango salad. It utilizes fresh, ripe mango instead of tart green mangoes, giving the dish a very sweet flavor. It includes chili peppers, sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, peanuts and fresh coriander or cilantro.
This is another savory way to eat mango—in rich, creamy vegan curried chickpeas with coconut milk, fresh ginger and garam masala.
For dessert, we're making something light and refreshing: vegan mango panna cotta with passion fruit sauce. You'll need agar agar, fresh passion fruit and mango, agave, coconut cream and vanilla.
Mangoes are juicy, sweet tropical fruits that are sweetest when eaten at the peak of ripeness, though sour, unripe "green mangoes" are also enjoyable in a variety of vegan eats. Mangoes are versatile, excellent in main meals, salads and desserts. Really, there are no limitations on what you can do with mangoes in your cooking, so have fun with trying out tart, salty, sweet, spicy and savory recipes.