Good Mango Vs Bad Mango: How To Spot Them

Mangoes are one of the most popular tropical fruits around the world. Their sweet, creamy flesh and vibrant colors make them an irresistible treat. However, not all mangoes are created equal. Some are perfectly ripe and delicious, while others can be fibrous, sour or stringy. So how do you spot the difference between good mangoes and bad ones? This comprehensive guide will outline all the tips and tricks to select the best mangoes every time.

Evaluating Mangoes by Appearance

The first step to identifying great mangoes is evaluating them by sight. Here are the key things to look for:

1. Vibrant, Rich Color

Good mangoes will have a vibrant, rich color. Green usually indicates the mango is unripe, while yellow, orange, red or combinations mean it’s ripe. Bad mangoes appear dull and pale. Avoid mangoes with dark spots as this shows over ripeness and possible bruising.

2. Smooth, Unblemished Skin

Great mangoes have skin that is smooth and free of blemishes like spots, bruises or wrinkles. Mangoes with skin damage are likely to have bad spots inside. Check the stem area too, as cracks near the stem indicate the fruit is past its prime.

3. Slight Softness

Ripe, ready-to-eat mangoes will feel slightly soft, like a gentle squeeze. Hard, stiff mangoes are underripe, while mangoes that feel mushy are overripe. The skin may also peel back slightly from the flesh when ripe.

4. Heavy for Size

Pick up mangoes to gauge their weight. The heavier they are for their size, the more juice and flesh they contain. Light, wispy mangoes tend to be stringy and sour inside.

So in summary, ideal mangoes have vivid, rich colors, smooth unblemished skin, a slight softness and feel heavy for their size.

Judging Quality by Smell and Touch

Inspecting appearance is just the first step. You can further evaluate mango quality by smelling and touching them.

1. Sweet, Fruity Aroma

Bring ripe mangoes up to your nose. Great mangoes exude a sweet, fruity tropical aroma at the stem end. If it smells sour, fermented or like turpentine, the mango is overripe and bad.

2. Firm Flesh

Gently press the fruit avoiding any bruised spots. Ideal mangoes should give slightly but the flesh itself feels firm, not mushy.

3. Minimal Fiber Strings

Run your thumb over the top and bottom of the mango. Minimal, fine fiber strings indicate great eating quality. Coarse, stringy fibers mean the mango will be fibrous and pulpy inside.

So mangoes that smell sweet, have firm flesh and minimal stringiness will taste delicious. Bad mangoes will lack that fruity aroma, feel mushy and have coarse fibers.

Cutting Open Mangoes to Check Ripeness

For the ultimate test of ripeness, you need to cut the mango open and inspect the flesh.

1. Yellow/Orange Color

The inside of a great mango will be bright yellow or orange when ripe. Greenish or white color means it’s still unripe. Discoloration like dark spots indicates an overripe, bad mango.

2. Juicy Flesh

Perfectly ripe mangoes will have flesh that feels juicy when cut open. If the flesh is shriveled up or dried out, the mango is over the hill.

3. Soft Texture

The flesh of a great mango yields slightly when pressed and has a soft, creamy texture. The flesh of a bad mango will be chewy, stringy or fibrous.

4. Mild, Sweet Scent

Sniff the cut mango near the center. It should smell mildly sweet and fruity, not fermented, sour or offensive.

So check for vibrant color, juicy flesh, soft texture and sweet scent once cut open. Then you’ll know if it’s a good mango!

Best Practices for Selecting Mangoes

Follow these handy tips when shopping for mangoes to consistently bring home sweet, delicious fruit:

  • Inspect the skin and avoid bruised or wrinkled mangoes.
  • Choose mangoes that feel heavy for their size with slight softness.
  • Smell the mango’s aroma at the stem end before buying.
  • Ask produce staff when the shipment arrived and pick the freshest mangoes.
  • Ripen firm mangoes at home until they yield slightly to gentle pressure.
  • Look for mature green mangoes to ripen versus mangoes that are already yellow.
  • Refrigerate ripe mangoes to stop the ripening process and extend shelf life.

Taking a few moments to properly evaluate mangoes will ensure you delight in the eating experience. Now that you know what to look, smell and feel for, you can spot good mangoes and avoid bad ones every time you shop. Always trust your senses, and you’ll be rewarded with the ultimate mango delight.


Mangoes are one of the tastiest tropical fruits, but not all mangoes are created equal. Knowing how to spot the differences between good and bad mangoes means you can enjoy delicious, ripe, juicy mangoes at their flavorful best.

By checking for vibrant color, smooth skin, heavy weight, sweet aroma, firm flesh, minimal fibers and great color and texture inside, you can assess mango ripeness accurately. Follow these tips to find the perfect mangoes and avoid disappointments. Armed with this knowledge, you can now shop with confidence and consistently savor the tropical flavor of sweet, juicy mang

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