Mango Season: How to Pick, cut, and Store mango

cutting a mango with a knife

It’s mango season! These bright and tangy fruit are popping up at a market near you. And if you follow these quick tips next time you’re at the store, you’re guaranteed to pick a perfectly ripe mango. If, for some reason you follow these steps and end up picking a bad mango, then I will reimburse you. 

Just kidding, inflation is way too high right now. But read on anyway and I’ll show you the best way to buy, cut, and how to store mango.

When is mango season?

Peak season runs from May through September, though you can find imported mangoes at your market all-year round. The most common varieties you’ll find at a supermarket are Timmy Atkins, Haden, Keitt and Kent mangos.

Seventy-five percent of the world’s mango are grown in India—though these fruits rarely reach the U.S. because of import restrictions. In the U.S., mangoes are grown in both Florida and California.


How to pick the best mango

If you want to cut a mango into perfect chunks without hacking away at a hard, unripe mango and ending up with an inedible, stringy mess – you’ll need to pick the right one.

The most common mango in U.S. supermarkets is the Timmy Atkins. As it ripens, it turns from green to a mottled green-yellow-pink combination. And, like avocados or peaches, it will give when you press on its flesh. There should also be a sweet aroma coming from the stem (yes, much like a pineapple, you need to sniff the bottom). 

RIPE MANGO CHECKLIST

  • Yellow skin blushed with red
  • Sweet aroma coming from the stem
  • Gives a little when pressed
sliced mango

How to cut a mango

Mangos can be one of the more challenging fruits to properly cut. But fear not, follow these simple steps and you’ll have perfect mango chunks in seconds.

Step 1: Position mango with the stem side down on a cutting board.

Step 2: Using a pairing knife, cut alongside the wide part of the pit as close to it as possible. Cut from the top of the mango down one side of the pit. Repeat the same thing on the other side of the mango.

cutting a mango

Step 3: Cut the two small sides off the middle section of the mango from the top down the side towards the stem.

cutting a mango

Step 4: Score the mango flesh by making lengthwise and crosswise cuts. Be careful not to cut through the peel. Pop open the mango by pushing the skin side down towards your thumb.

How to remove mango from peel

Knife method

Use your paring knife to cut along the peel of the mango and carefully remove the pieces from the peel.

Spoon method 

An alternative method is to use a spoon to scoop the flesh. This is ideal if you don’t feel comfortable using a knife or want to get a little more mango out of the skin.

peeling mango with a spoon

Glass method

Take a small glass cup with a thin rim to scoop out the mango pieces from the peel in one motion from top to bottom. While this method removes the most mango from the peel, it can make the mango chunks mushy.

peeling mango with a glass

How to store cut mango

In the fridge

Cut mango can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

In the freezer

You can freeze mango chunks in a freezer-bag for up to three months.

How to store Ripe mango

Ripen firm mangos at room temperature, or place in paper bag to expedite the process. Refrigerate ripe mangos in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and use within three days.

Recipes with mango

If you haven’t tried mango salsa, you’re missing out. It pairs perfectly with avocados and makes for a juicy, sweet taco topping. 

salmon tacos with mango salsa

You can also use mango to marinate fish, pork or chicken. Toss fresh mangoes in a green or fruit salad, use frozen chunks in a smoothie or add dried mango to trail mix.

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