If you’ve never tried mango, you are definitely missing out on some delicious fruit. Mango has a lot of great health benefits as a fruit but the flavor is also unique.
Of course, if you’ve never tried it, you may be wondering just what it tastes like before you decide to bite into one.
If you’re not scared to try new things, you should totally go for it. We think you will love the flavor regardless.
There is just something very unique about mango that almost can’t be compared to any other fruit. It is set apart and yet it still hosts fruity flavors that are just the right amount of sweet while also not being overly sweet.
So what does a mango taste like? Mango generally has an extremely sweet, woody flavor. Its texture is creamy and soft, and underneath the sweet overtones, there are floral, botanical notes, as well as some traces of pine.
In this guide, we will discuss just what a mango tastes like and also discuss other things about the mango. You will find descriptions of flavor as well as things like smell and texture.
We will also talk just a bit about different ways to prepare mango that might change the flavor slightly.
Keep reading to learn what a mango tastes like and more!
What Does Mango Taste Like?
One thing to consider is that mango can taste different when it is prepared in different ways. It can also taste different depending on just how ripe it is or is not.
Mango is typically sweet but if it is not ripe enough, it can certainly have a bit of a sour flavor to it as well.
You will find is that mango is typically described as a tropical flavor and this is because it comes from a tropical region primarily. The majority of mangoes are produced in India but they can be produced in other areas as well.
For a brief overview, mangoes come from the drupe family. This simply means that the fruit contains a single pit inside and the exterior flesh of the fruit is edible. In addition, you will find that mangoes grow on a stem on their plant.
Mangoes are green before they ripen completely and they actually ripen to several different colors, including yellow, orange, red, or purple. They can also grow to a variety of shapes and sizes.
Typically, as long as they are ripe, the fruit will taste very similar with any of these varieties.
Now, let’s dig a bit deeper into the main identifiers of the fruit – flavor, texture, and smell.
Mangoes are best described as having a sweet flavor with a creamy texture. The taste is definitely fruity with a hint of pine and floral in the undertones of the flavor.
You will find that there are so many different mangoes it would be impossible to describe them all.
Here is a look at some of the most popular options.
Haden mango is perhaps the favorite of most people and the option that is most readily available and easy to find. This is one of the largest varieties and has always been one of the most popular choices.
This mango is known for being sweet with an aroma and flavor that brings in a hint of tropical with some coconut and pineapple in the mix. If you love tropical fruits and treats, you will really enjoy this type of mango.
This particular mango can sometimes be harder to find but it has been described as the best mango around.
It again is very tropical in flavor but you also find hints of pine and coconut in the flavors to give you a well-rounded palette that is irresistible.
If you want something that isn’t quite as sweet as the others, the Praya Sowoy mango might be a good option. The sweetness is slightly milder and the fruitiness is also more subtle.
This mango takes on a hint of pine and floral and the sweetness is not as heavy.
The royal special mango is unique. It is not quite as sweet, much like Praya Sowoy but it brings in some hints of a raspberry flavor to it that makes it tart and sweet like a berry while still retaining those floral and woodsy notes as well.
The final type we want to describe here is the Malindi mango.
This variety takes all of the notes of the others and wraps them together to give you sweet but mild as well as bringing in the tropical flavors, pine flavors, and floral flavors into a single well-rounded taste.
What you will find is that while there are different varieties, they each are sweet and tropical in their own ways with floral and pine undertones that really make them flavorful.
Of course, that creamy texture also does a little something for the fruit and we will talk about that more shortly.
The flavor of all of these types of mango comes from a compound known as furaneol.
This compound almost has a strawberry aroma and flavor and it is also found in pineapples, which is where that slightly tropical or pineapple flavor or aroma comes from.
In addition, mangoes also have 3-carene, which is where some of those woodsy tones come into play. This compound is known for the pine but sweet notes that it exhibits.
Between the two compounds, you find that you get a hint of woodsy flavor with a lot of sweetness that is tropical-based and it makes a really great flavor combination.
Mango has become increasingly popular as people realize just how flavorful it is!
Next up, let’s talk about the texture of a mango. The texture of a mango is again also unique. Before it ripens, it is identified as having both a hard and fiber-like shell.
If you were to cut open a mango that isn’t quite ripe, you would find that the inside is also hard and fibrous and may be disappointing.
However, when mangoes are ripe, the inside becomes very soft. The best comparison here is a texture that is similar to that of a peach.
The inside is soft and creamy when you bite into it. Mangoes are known for that creamy texture that has just the right amount of juice.
While even ripe mangoes are slightly fibrous, this won’t be a noticeable or distasteful aspect when you cut or bite into a ripe mango.
This may make it slightly stringy but again this won’t be something that is super noticeable or even a primary texture when the mango is appropriately ripe for the taking.
You will find that when mango is ripe, you can compare it closely to a peach as mentioned above. The inside of the mango should be slightly squishy and very soft and when you bite into it, it feels creamy and almost silky in nature.
Ripe mangoes are best described as creamy and juicy. You can mostly tell if mango is ripe by the smell, the feel, and the color. Remember that a green mango is most likely not ripe yet.
Now, smell is a major factor. Oftentimes, if you don’t like the smell of something, it is really hard to force yourself to even take a taste.
The good news is that the smell of mango is very similar in nature to the flavor of the mango. Most mangoes have a tropical smell to them that will remind you of things like pineapple and coconut.
You will find that the tropical smell might be combined with floral undertones as well as some woodsy notes that may give it a bit of a pine scent. Don’t wrinkle your nose just yet.
Those floral and woodsy notes are just undertones so they most certainly will not be the defining smells but rather a scent that you might catch a slight whiff of.
If you take a quick look back at our flavor descriptions, you can easily relate the flavors and the smells of the fruit together.
If you really want to smell a mango and truly understand the scents within, pick up a mango and smell it near the stem area. This is where the smell is the strongest on the fruit.
Mango will smell tropical and yet sweet and that aroma is absolutely delicious to most.
Mango will smell delightfully sweet and fruity all at the same time. You might notice hints of melon scents mixed with pineapple and that is perhaps one of the best ways to describe the scent itself.
However, take note that while it might have a slight melon scent, it does not taste like melon.
The scent itself will almost always be sweet because mangoes are sweet fruits by nature. If it doesn’t smell sweet, it may be a variety that isn’t as sweet or it may not be quite ripe yet as well.
How Preparing a Mango Can Change the Flavor
While mangoes will maintain their overall flavor, there are certain ways you can prepare them or use them and this could adjust the flavors slightly.
For example, if you eat a mango raw, you get every bit of sweetness and creaminess with the slight woodsy and floral notes of the flavor combinations.
However, this could change if you mix mango with something else in a dish. Mango can easily be adapted.
Some people even like to grill mango because it really brings out that woodsy tone without taking away the sweet flavor. That hint of smokiness you can get from a grill or smoker just do something unique that is delightful!
Here are some common ways that mango is used for cooking or flavor purposes.
- Mango chicken
- Mango salsa
- Mango smoothie
- Mango chutney
- Mango daal
- Thai mango salad
- Grilled mango
Remember that a lot of mangoes are sourced from India so it stands to reason that mango can easily be incorporated into cultural Indian dishes, such as daal or chutney.
You will find that people use them in margaritas and salads as well because of the crisp, sweet flavor.
Preparing mango in these different ways can alter the flavors slightly but for the most part, mango will add to your dish in a sweet way.
In fact, what you will most likely find is that cooking the mango actually intensifies the flavors and the sweetness of mango. This is pretty common. Mango also pairs well with things, including herbs.
Using mango to make salsa gives you a subtle hint of sweetness that can pair well with heat so a dish that is designed to be spicy will be both sweet and spicy.
Mango is incredibly unique in this way as there are many things that you cannot pair like that with a good outcome.
Mango is incredibly unique but it is typically used for sweet flavors and notes in any type of dish so this is something to keep in mind.
We hope that you find this guide to understanding what mangoes taste like to be a valuable and informative resource. Their flavors are unique but you can always count on them to be sweet.
We invite you to take a look at the following question and answer section as well for some additional information that may be useful to you.
Does mango taste like peach?
While some would tell you that mangoes taste like peach mixed with something like lime, we don’t really feel this to be an accurate description.
The texture is similar to that of a peach but the flavors are more similar to things like pineapple with a hint of lime or even citrus. Remember it is very sweet with a woodsy and floral undertone.
Does mango taste like pine?
If you have a sophisticated flavor palette, you certainly might notice hints of pine or woodsy flavors in your mango.
Mangoes do contain a compound that makes them slightly woody in flavor but this should not be the most prominent flavor that you notice.
How can you pair mangoes with other foods?
Remember that mangoes are typically pretty sweet. Try combining them with foods that either tend to be light in flavor or perhaps spicy in flavor.
Mangoes can enhance flavors or tone down spice because of their sweetness.
How should mangoes be stored?
We recommend storing your mangoes at room temperature. If they are ripe, you may also want to store them in the fridge to make them last as long as possible. Finally, you can freeze mangoes as well to preserve them!