The first time I brought home a ripe, juicy mango, I made a horrible mess of it. No one had clued me in to the unfortunate truth… unlike an apple, or a pear, which make themselves quite obvious, you kind of have to know how to cut a mango before you start. It’s got a huge pit, and the skin doesn’t come off easily without destroying the fruit. It’s actually very simple, but, like surgery, you sort of need to see how things are done before you start going all crazy with a knife.
Hand/mango modeling courtesy of Teresa, my wife and mango-cutting mentor.
First of all, determine if the mango is ready to eat. It should be slightly soft, but not mushy to the touch. If it seems right, stand the mango up on the side that is thinner (the way it doesn’t want to naturally stand up).
A mango pit is sort of flat. Standing it this way ensures the pit is on its side so that you can cut around it.
Cut one side of the flesh off.
Then cut the other. Hopefully you’ve missed the pit. If you do hit it, just move outward a little bit and try again.
Cut a few lines in the sides one way, down to the skin but not piercing it.
Then cut a couple of times the other way, making squares.
Flip the skin inside out, and you’ve got nice cubes of mango, which you can remove or eat right off the peel.
Don’t forget the center part, which you should peel, then shove into your hungry, juice-drenched face. This is probably the best part. Just don’t chomp down too hard on the pit.
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