Mangoes 101: Prep Tips, Recipes and More

Sweet, juicy mangoes are in season and never better. Learn how to buy, cut and enjoy these tropical treats, plus see must-have mango products in our aisles.

Can’t book a tropical vacation? Try the next best thing: mangoes. One taste of these sweet, silky fruits and you’ll be hooked. Whether they're cubed for a salad or blended into a smoothie, mangoes are perfectly refreshing on a warm day. Plus, they're loaded with nutrients like fiber and vitamin C. Make the most of mangoes with this handy guide to cutting, ripening and enjoying everything these tropical fruits have to offer.

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All About Our Mangoes

Mangoes are tropical fruits, in every sense of the word — they need a tropical climate to grow. Throughout the spring and summer, you’ll see mangoes from Mexico, the Caribbean and California in Whole Foods Market stores. (Look for mangoes from South America in the fall and winter). And while you can find mangoes in stores year-round, spring and summer is a “bigger” season for them, which means it’s time to break them out and celebrate.

How To Tell if a Mango Is Ripe

When shopping for mangoes in our Produce department, keep these buying tips in mind. First off, the color of a mango isn't necessarily the best indicator of ripeness. While a red blush tint to the skin may seem like a telltale sign, it's actually not related to ripeness, maturity or quality. Instead, go by how it feels: You’ll know your mango is ripe when it has a slight give, much like a peach or an avocado. A fully mature mango will also have full cheeks — perfect for cutting into.

How To Ripen a Mango

If you can’t find a perfectly ripe mango, don’t fret. You can ripen a mango at home by placing a firm mango on the counter at room temperature — or speed up the process by placing your mango in a paper bag. You can slow down the ripening process by putting a ripe mango into the fridge. Not all mangoes are the same, and some varieties may shift from dark to light green as they ripen.

How To Cut a Mango

Ready to enjoy your mango? If you’ve purchased a whole fruit, you’ll need to cut it open to reveal the sweet, juicy inner flesh. We’ve broken it down step-by-step to show you how to get perfect mango cubes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cutting board: Any type will do, but aim for a medium-sized board.

  • Paring knife: Mango skin is thick, so you’ll want your knife to be nice and sharp.

  • Small prep bowl: This is your landing spot for the mango cubes.

Alright, let’s learn how to cut a mango. You can also watch this How to Cut Mango video to see the technique in action.

Our Favorite Ways to Use Mango

Mangoes are amazingly versatile, as they go with both sweet and savory foods. Some of our favorite ideas and recipes include:

More delicious ways to enjoy mangoes:

  • Add mango chunks to your next seafood or pork kabob by glazing it with teriyaki sauce before grilling — sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds before serving.

  • Add sliced mango to your avocado toast with mint, chili powder and salt.

  • Add cubed mango to overnight vanilla bean chia pudding for some tropical sweetness.

  • Grill mango halves and use them as a dessert base; serve with coconut milk ice cream and drizzle with honey and toasted coconut flakes.

Mangoes aren’t the only tropical fruits in our stores right now. Check out our Guide to Tropical Fruits to learn about dragon fruit, rambutan and more exotic varieties to try.

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