I’m in need of mango tips, dear readers.

Every week, I post a picture of the food that has gone bad over the last seven days. Why do I do this? Because in March of 2008, I finally got fed up with the amount of food I was wasting, and I thought that showing my waste to other people would motivate me to use up my food instead of wasting it. Because this often embarrassing practice was so helpful for me, I invited other bloggers to join me in posting their food waste photos, and Food Waste Friday was born.

(We’ll get to the mango question in a minute.)

How did I do this week?

Welp, I poked through my veggie drawer yesterday and found a partial pepper and cucumber that I had foolishly thrown in there, inside of a plastic bag.

Of course, I totally forgot about these two items, and they were completely squishy and moldy. Drat.

rotten pepper

However! I want to tell you that in the last two weeks, I’ve accidentally made too much fish twice.

And both times, I ate the leftover fish, which is a great feat for me.

I’ve discovered that I can handle cold leftover fish far better than reheated leftover fish, so I’ve just been eating it straight out of the fridge, and I find it to be far more tolerable that way.

In other happy news, I threw a not-very-juicy clementine and some slightly squishy grapes into the freezer for future smoothie usage.


Oh, and I discovered yesterday that I have yet another mango that appears to have gone straight from underripe to wrinkly, yet still unripe. It makes me so crabby when mangoes do this, and I have no idea how to pick one that will become juicy and delicious.


I’d quit buying them altogether, but occasionally I get one that ripens perfectly and then it is so heavenly, I want to buy more and more.

I won’t throw this one out…I’ll cut it up and freeze it for smoothies.

If you guys have any great mango tips for me, I’m all ears!


  1. Leslie says

    I would say just don’t buy mangoes from Aldi, but rather buy them from the farmers market, if you have one near. They are just as cheap, and fresher. Most are already ripened and sweet.

    • Kristen says

      I wonder if you need to live farther south to have mangoes at farmer’s markets or something! I’ve never seen ’em here, sadly.

  2. Mrs K says

    I’ve solved the mango problem by purchasing frozen mango chunks instead of the fresh kind, we eat them semi-frozen, about 10 minutes put of the freezer. Occasionnaly, my parents go to the carribean market and bring back a case of perfect ones which we all enjoy :)
    I’m sorry I can’t help you with the fresh mangoes.

  3. Sara C says

    A friend who grew up in Miami told me that if the mangoes are ever refrigerated during transport or in the store they will not ripen, just rot. He suggested that international grocery stores or markets are the best place to find mangoes that have never been refrigerated.

  4. says

    I too LOVE mangoes, I have found the best way to enjoy them is to first fly to Hawaii where you can find the best and most perfectly ripe Mangoes. Having found several that seem perfect, drive your rental car to a deserted beach, walk along the sand and eat the mangoes. As they are nice and ripe the juices will spill all over your hands – oh I forgot, don’t forget to wear a swimsuit – you can lick the juice off of your fingers, there is no one there to see. When finished just dive into the waves and wash all the yucky stuff off.
    dry, and fly back home. Done.

  5. Michelle says

    We always ripen mangoes and avocados by shoving them into a container of uncooked rice. I have a Tupperware container half-filled with rice that I keep and reuse just for this. The fruits don’t need to be entirely “buried” but I usually turn them over after a day so the fruit ripens evenly.

    • 2annabelle says

      I agree – Ataulfo mangoes are FABULOUS! They’re much less fibrous than the red and green mangoes, and I think there’s more fruit by comparison to the size of the seed. I love them!

    • SB says

      I 3rd this. I’m a huge fan. I spent time abroad and tried both, but these are my favorite. And far easier to find truly ripe in the grocery store.

      • Kristen says

        Based on my own anecdotal experience, I’ve felt the same way…they call them champagne mangoes at my stores, and I feel like they ripen so much more consistently! Good to know I’m not just imagining thing.

  6. Jenessa says

    I have no advice ripening on mangoes, but you can use under ripe mangoes in Thai salads. There are lots of recipes online.
    This week I wasted half a head of cabbage and a head of iceberg lettuce. They had both been in the fridge for a long time and were moldy and slimy when I pulled them out. There are a couple of carrots at the bottom of the drawer that should probably be thrown out too.

  7. says

    I live in Mexico where avocados and mangos are really cheap.
    In both cases those are never put on the refrigerator after you buy them “Green” (not rippen) – later you can put mangos-avocados and bananas together, those will perfectly ripe in a couple of days.

    DonĀ“t buy avocados or mangos planning to have them several days on a fridge, you will spoil them.

  8. Mary G says

    The farmer’s markets near where I live only sell local produce, so mangoes aren’t found there. I really like fresh fruit, although I’ve found frozen mangoes to be pretty good also. Here are some general tips I’ve found for selecting fresh mangoes. Choose fruit that are bruise free, non-freckled, have smooth skin, are not dull on the surface, and are starting to turn reddish. I get a bum fruit every now and then, but I’ve had pretty good luck. My local Aldi is having mangoes on sale next week, so I plan to buy some.

  9. Alicia says

    About the mango that didn’t fully ripen: If you only have one half-ripe mango, you might just go ahead and peel and seed it and add those chunks to your container of mango and dry clementine. It’ll be great in a smoothie. OR you could chunk the flesh and keep in a separate container and just keep adding to it until you have enough to make a mango crisp. Mango crisps can be seriously delicious. Or you could cook up a batch of mango jam if you end up with about 3 cups of the cut up fruit. All good ways to use up those great fruit. Let us readers know how you end up using the mango!

  10. Alicia says

    Oops, I meant add the cut up mango to your container of GRAPES and dry clementine sections. Your other readers are right, picked mangoes don’t ripen appreciably once they are harvested. You can usually tell if you ripe mango by the smell – that wonderful mango scent when you hold it up to your nose and sniff it.

  11. Jen@leftoversasawayoflife.blogspot.com says

    I made sorbet with a leftover mango recently and it was delicious! I just whisked up an egg white with a couple of spoonfuls of sugar and then mixed with the blended mango. I’ve done the same with melons as well

  12. Susaninoz says

    The mangoes go off because they have been picked too early. Our school fundraiser gets boxes from Queensland (we live in Melbourne) and I have had the same problem. I don’t order them anymore. Maybe just buy them when you see they are almost ripe.

  13. rosarugosa says

    We buy frozen mango too, because DH cooks with it and we never eat it as “just fruit.” We have a favorite dish he makes in a saute pan with chicken breasts, sweet potato, mango and seasoned with cumin and turmeric, etc. It is healthy and delicious and a “one pan” meal.

  14. Elaine says

    Even though we go to Costco twice a month, I had never purchased the frozen triple berries until you mentioned them in a post. Oh My goodness. I now go through a bag a week. Delicious and healthy too. I have also been buying the frozen pineapple chunks. I wanted to be able to make pineapple mango protein shakes but I hate buying fresh mangoes because they are never ripe, or are over ripe. Also, it seems like you just don’t get much fruit off them. So… the last time I was in our local Indian store ( I buy my spices there) I discovered canned mangoe pulp. It is amazing. It comes in 28 oz cans and is only 50 calories per half cup. I freeze it that way and break off half of that plus about 7 pineapple chunks along with my almond coconut milk and a scoop of protein powder. Very good and nutritious. I know you were asking about fresh mangoes, but just wanted to share with you about the canned..

  15. Karla says

    There’s a lote of things you can do with mangos!! When The mango Is green you can eat it with crushed peper and salt and OMG!… (I really love to eat it un that way) … Also,If you don’t want to eat a green mango, you can try to wrap it with a newspaper and leave it one or two days, that use to work very well.

    There’s mango water! And “ate de mango” (it’s a Mexican Candy, i’m sure you can find The recipe on internet)… You can use it to make a tropical twist in your salads…

    And NEVER storage on the fridge.

  16. Susanna says

    I think mango and watermelon are 2 fruits that need no help – I like them alone! I’ve bought pico de gallo that had mango – it was pretty good – definitely different. seems like I put it on fish. I only tried it because Kroger had it marked down since it was at it’s date. I prefer regular pico de gallo though so most likely won’t get it again unless I’m in the mood for fish…really did taste pretty good with the plain cooked tilapia…

  17. says

    Mangos are tricky because they are super sensitive to cold, and not just when growing. I have an uncle who grows them very successfully in Miami so from him I know the scoop. It matters how the mango fruit will eventually ripen if they are even ever-so-slightly cold in transport. Of course, this is virtually impossible for the consumer to know before buying them….no labels for that. So, the only thing to do is buy mangos which are ready to eat. They should smell nice and ripe, have a slight blush to them and be ever-so-yielding to the touch. Purchasing those which are otherwise and you’re on your own. They could be good or not…there is no telling as far as I know.

  18. WilliamB says

    I was doing great until… A recipe I tested for Cook’s Illustrated, a mushroom-tomato ragu, which wasn’t to my taste, went bad before I could figure a way to repurpose it. That was the better part of a pound of mushrooms, a can of tomatoes, and odds and ends. :-<

    • Kristen says

      I hate it when that happens…but you come across bum recipes every now and then and there’s not much you can do to avoid it!

  19. Amy says

    After having this happen with mangos too many times, I tried mango chutney and love it…on hamburgers, fish, pork. Just a thought. One mango makes a half jelly sized jar.

  20. Maria Ehlers says

    Don’t judge the ripeness by color! Judge mangoes the same way you do an avocado–a gentle squeeze should yield slightly.

  21. lilia says

    I find that the green variety (like the one pictured) tend to do that more often. I wonder if it is because of where they grow/how they are transported or because of the mango type itself. I have better luck with yellow mangos. The costco near me has them and they are often very good but ripen too quickly so you need to eat them quick. Also I have great luck at Indian groceries and some Asian markets.

  22. kate says

    I found a mango and tomato salad at an Asian restaurant. Very simple. Cut mangos bite sized and toss with halved cherry or grape tomatoes with a little salt and pepper. Put in fridge for about 30 minutes (or all day) and serve.

    • Marie says

      Mangoes which haven’t fully matured when picked tend to be sour . If you purchase them still unripe, even when you hide them inside a sack of rice which is the best way to hasten the ripening process, they will still taste s0ur. So it is best to just buy them almost ripe and let them ripen in room temp, no need to put them in the fridge. You only refrigerate them once you have sliced them and would like to serve them cold but then again, they don’t last long since when they are very sweet, you won’t stop eating until the last bit of flesh is consumed. Mangoes are so yummy but be careful to eat only a few because they can cause prickly heat rash. The ripe mangoes can be sliced and stored in the fridge for further use.

  23. Randi says

    I swear by paper bags when it comes to mangoes. Brown or white paper and pop your underripe mango in there, close it up. Check them daily, and turn them over when you check them (to avoid super soft spots). I like to put them in bags in pairs, and cannot testify to the helpfulness of a banana here.

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