If you've never cut and eaten a mango, it can be a little intimidating with a HUGE pit inside. Here's a easy way to do it!

How to Eat a Mango

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!

If you're like me, mangoes are a little perplexing to figure out how to cut and eat . . . but, oh, they're SO good!

Cruising in the Caribbean or Mexico and Central America, you’ll find mangoes everywhere — and now they’re often in local grocery stores across the US.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.

If you're like me, mangoes are a little perplexing to figure out how to cut and eat . . . but, oh, they're SO good!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.

If you've never cut and eaten a mango, it can be a little intimidating with a HUGE pit inside.  Here's a easy way to do it!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 . . .

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18 Comments
  • ben
    Posted at 07 March 2012 Reply

    I used to be able to get mangoes really really cheap in The Phillipines, and I ended up routinely eating a couple pounds in a single sitting. I didn’t learn the dicing trick until quite a while after arriving. I originally just used a spoon and ate directly out of the skin, with very little mess or fuss. What was still messy was eating the fruit that was still on the pit, until someone showed me how to cut most of the fruit off that as well. Where normally you cut along the flat wide edge of the pit, if instead, you first cut along the thin edges of the pit, you’ll end up with 4 thinner slices, but very little left on the pit itself, meaning cleaner eating.

    P.S. I wouldn’t recommend getting in the habit of eating several pounds per sitting… I now get a mild allergic reaction when I eat mangoes making my face itch.

  • Tweety
    Posted at 09 March 2012 Reply

    The man in the back looks like Greg who had a North Sea 27 who we knew in Redwood City CA.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 09 March 2012 Reply

      Yep, it’s Greg on Guenevere.

  • Candy Ann Williams on Facebook
    Posted at 21 August 2012 Reply

    You left out the best part of a mango….it’s putting it in a margarita…if you happen to be lucky enough to have a generator for your blender. (that is my favorite kind of margarita…you made me thirsty just looking at that beautiful sweet mango!). All joking aside that is a good video to share. Mangos are intimidating to novices. Thanks for sharing!

  • Michelle Beatty on Facebook
    Posted at 08 May 2013 Reply

    Awesome…thanks!!

  • Tammy Nielsen Joeright on Facebook
    Posted at 08 May 2013 Reply

    Had my first mango cruising in the Dominican Republic but I still do not know how to eat them easily
    Lol

  • Carrie Griffin Raborn on Facebook
    Posted at 08 May 2013 Reply

    Mango salsa is my favorite!!

  • Shari
    Posted at 30 January 2014 Reply

    Mangoes can sometimes be purchased cut up in the street in NYC. Much healthier than a hot dog! For a new taste thrill, dress them with lime, salt and hot sauce! Or, if you have a very ripe mango, “massage” it until the pit is rotating freely, pop the top, and have a mango smoothie. It takes a while to get the feel of enough pressure to make a smoothie without breaking the skin.

  • Debbie Weiss Luitweiler
    Posted at 31 January 2014 Reply

    I’m drooling for a mango now. Lol

  • Nicki Reineck
    Posted at 31 January 2014 Reply

    Could you please post about stove top baking and retailers for the Omnia stove top oven?

  • The Boat Galley
    Posted at 31 January 2014 Reply

    Nicki Reineck I’m on the road today and just on my phone but I’ll write a longer bit tomorrow. The good news is that I got an email this morning that TBG sponsor SeaDog Boating Solutions will be the new US importer/retailer for the Omnia. He’s out of stock right now, but has a new shipment coming.

  • The Boat Galley
    Posted at 01 February 2014 Reply

    Nicki Reineck — as promised, I just posted an update on the Omnia and stove top baking: https://www.facebook.com/TheBoatGalley/posts/683501021701730

  • Steve Cruckshank
    Posted at 17 February 2017 Reply

    Try peeling with a vegetable peeler first before cutting perfect no mess way to remove the skin.

  • Jan Bogart
    Posted at 17 February 2017 Reply

    biting into them, the skin can give a bad rash.

  • Kathy Orr
    Posted at 17 February 2017 Reply

    Thanks! I love them, but have been trying to cut them like a peach!

  • Rosalind Franks
    Posted at 18 February 2017 Reply

    I love mangos

  • Allan Cobb
    Posted at 18 February 2017 Reply

    A good way to eat a mango. Choose a ripe mango while wearing a swimsuit. Massage the mango until it is really soft in its skin. Bite a very small hole in the mango. Suck out the goodness at your leisure (which will involve mango dribbles). Continue until nothing else comes out of the mango. Toss the mango and jump in the water to wash off the mango dribbles. Repeat as necessary.

  • Allan Cobb
    Posted at 18 February 2017 Reply

    To select a mango to cut up as described in this article, choose one that is firm but just beginning to get soft.

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