Anyone who has carved a mango will appreciate this, as well as those who don’t really know how to tackle the fruit. I was stopped in the grocery store by a woman who asked if I knew how to cut them efficiently. I wish I could have sent her this illustrated guide. At any rate, I’m sure she now knows many of the issues I highlight below…
How to Mangle a Mango, an illustrated guide.
- First realize that the pit of the mango is flat and oval. Judging where the pit is within the flesh becomes an art form.
- As you carefully examine the mango, you will notice it is also flat(ish) on two sides, corresponding to the pit.
- Peal the mango before cutting into the flesh. This will assure it is nearly impossible to handle the mango as you attempt to slice it up. It will slip from your grasp several times. Resign yourself to this fact. If you don’t like the idea of peeling first, please note that pealing sections after cutting can be even more challenging.
- After peeling, use a sharp knife to cut into the flesh, gauging just about where the pit is and aim for one side.
- Hit the pit. It is inevitable, and a hapless part of any mango-cutting regimen anywhere. Edge your knife as best you can away from the pit and continue slicing through the fruit.
- Attempt the other side of the mango. You will either hit the pit again, or take a wide-enough berth that you miss the pit, but leave too much flesh surrounding the pit. Never fear. You will be hacking at it later to get the last bit of flesh.
- Cupping the slice gently in your hand, cut the mango into strips. Take care to change knives from the sharp knife to a slightly less sharp knife.
- Wash the blood off your hands and off your mango if you forgot to change knives. – Lines illustrated by red pen rendering indicate results if you do not.
- Elect to cut the other mango portion on the cutting board. This proceeds without incident.
- Never leave the remaining mango on the pit. You still have lots of flesh to salvage. Attempt to cut around the edge of the pit deftly. You will find you will be hacking once again into the edge with some frequency. Take the strips of mangled mango and slice on cutting board. Throughout the process observe the pieces slip out of your hands and fall on the kitchen counter if you’re lucky, or if you’re unfortunate, the kitchen floor.
- Ignore the imprints of finger tips in the flesh. Use in a salsa and mix vigorously with green onion, red pepper, avocado and cilantro with lime juice to mask the paw prints. Serve on the side, or perhaps slightly under, a fish or pineapple pork dish. Better yet, serve in a fish taco, where the misshapen pieces will not be noticed. The mango should still taste delightful, especially if the blood is thoroughly washed off.
- Bandage your hand and enjoy.
2 Thoughts on “How to Mangle a Mango – An Illustrated Guide”
Having lived in the tropics for years, I’ve handled many a mango. The way I generally approach one is to peel one side first, then either slice that flesh off before further slicing/cubing, or slice or dice it on the pit by bringing the knife down to the pit. Once I’ve uncovered one side of the pit, I can then hold on to that (it’s somewhat less slippery than holding on to pure flesh) while I peel and cut the other side. Once almost done, there’s usually still some odd flesh on the pit, which I suck and nibble off, leaving a trail of mango juice down my chin. Beware, many folks, myself included, are allergic to something in the skin or sap which can burn the lips and skin around the mouth if you try using teeth to break through the skin. Probably more of a problem with freshly picked mangoes which are more likely to have sap on them.
Judy, Great comment! You know whereof you speak…since you live on a boat in the Tahitian environs. Have fun down there…you would be the expert!