We frequently get questions about mangoes; especially how to cut them, so here’s the scoop.
How to pick a good Mango:
Mangoes that you find in American grocery stores usually come from places like Mexico, Peru, Brazil, or The Philippines. Although they can be different varieties you’ll find most of them look alike and follow similar ripening patterns. The skins can be a mixture of greens, yellows, oranges and reds. For a lot of mango varieties, the rule applies: the greener the mango, the less ripe it is. As it ripens it turns shades of red and yellow, and gets softer. BUT, that is not always the case. Many mangoes have a natural yellow or green color, when both ripe and not ripe, so color shouldn’t be your best indicator, it should be how it feels. You want to find one that’s firm, but still soft to the touch. It’s similar to how an avocado feels.
How to cut the darned thing:
Mangoes have a big seed in the middle, so you have to cut around it. They’re also super slippery when peeled, so you’ll find it easiest to cut first, peel second.
Mangoes are oval shaped, so you’re going to cut off 2 “wide” sides, and then 2 “narrow” sides. Hold the mango upright, it should be longer top to bottom than it is side to side, like in the left-hand side picture below. Start with a sharp paring knife at the top. Cut downward down one of the wide sides until you feel the seed. Just cut down the side, feeling the seed with your knife and cutting right around it.
You’ll now be left with the two narrow sides, so just cut around the seed to get those off too.
You’ll now be left with these parts: 2 wide pieces, and 2 narrow ones, and the seed. Before you toss that seed, make sure to lean over the sink and slurp off all that juicy fruit. That’s the best part of this whole experience. Yes, it’s an experience.
You can actually slice the large pieces while still in the skin and scoop them out like you would an avocado. Or you can dice them the same way, and just flip the skin inside-out so all the chunks pop out.
Here’s a video demonstrating the whole process!
How to use them:
Mangoes are a really versatile food because they’re good in both sweet and savory dishes. I love them on the grill, paired with chicken or steak, or in smoothies, on top of yogurt, chopped in a fruit salad, or even in salsa. They’re great in ice cream and sorbets, and in lots of other desserts. Of course one of the very best ways to eat a mango? Plain!
Some things to try: