Okay, you’re going to laugh if you live somewhere that mangoes are common. But I’m from the Midwestern US, and never saw a mango until I was 37. We were on a camping trip in East Africa, and I had to ask our trip leader what she was eating!
Cruising in the Caribbean or Mexico and Central America, you’ll find mangoes everywhere — and now they’re often in local grocery stores here in Illinois. If you’re like me, mangoes are a little perplexing to figure out how to cut and eat . . . but, oh, they’re SO good!
Don’t be intimidated — there’s an easy way to do it once you learn the “trick.” I learned on that first day on the African trip, and then taught lots of our cruiser friends who also had never prepared a mango. If you’re buying one for the first time, it should be a little firmer than a peach, but not rock hard.
In grocery stores in the US, you usually find red-skinned mangoes that look like the ones in the photo. In other places, you might find yellow mangoes or even “green” mangoes that are fully ripe. You can cut and eat them all the same way.
Two things to know about mangoes — they have a tough skin that you don’t want to eat, and they have a huge rock-hard pit inside with about an inch of yummy flesh surrounding it.
Now, DON’T cut your mango as in the picture! That’s just to try to show the pit. I’m guessing that a hacksaw is the only thing that could actually cut through the pit. In that regard, it reminds of a peach pit.
But where you can slice a peach in two and then twist it apart and remove the pit (ditto for an avocado) it just won’t work with a mango.
So how do you cut a mango? And how do you get it to look like the one on the right?
The easiest way is shown in the video below — and if you just want to eat it out of hand, don’t bother cutting it off the skin as she does — just eat the diced sections right off the peel, as our friend Gordon (Spirit) is doing in the photo at the top of this article. It’s almost like eating corn on the cob.
Once you get the two big “cheeks” off and eaten (or cut off to use in a salad or other recipe), it’s easy to cut the remaining bits off the pit and then either eat them off the peel (as you would eat a slice of watermelon) or cut them up.
Oh, yeah — one more thing. Eating a mango out of your hand is a juicy affair! Don’t try to do it wearing “good” clothes or without a way to wash your hands — and maybe your chin — off. But it’s SO worth it . . .