Who knew there was a right way to cut a mango? Our Food Editor, Christine, that’s who! If you love the sweet taste of mangos but aren’t sure how to get it from the counter to the table, let Christine walk you through it. You’ll be adding mangos to salsas, shakes and salads in no time.
Here’s why mangos are so good for you. They are full of antioxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and fiber. They are alkaline (help with balancing your body’s Ph levels), and also have a low glycemic index (good for those with diabetes). Mangos are even good for your skin if you use it as a facial cleanser. And finally, you may not know that mangos are called the “love fruit” – apparently they are an aphrodisiac. We’ll leave the research on that one up to you. 😆
A ripe mango is juicy and delicious, but getting one cut up into golden bite sized pieces can be tricky and messy. First, there’s a thick leathery skin to deal with, then a big stringy pit in the middle, and sometimes a mango can have stringy fibers in it that can get stuck in your teeth.
I’m going to show you how to quickly and easily deal with all of the challenges standing between you and your mango. You will need a mango, a cutting board, a sharp knife with a blade at least as long as the mango, a dish towel, and if possible, a sharp paring knife.
First, we’ll remove the seed. There is a ridge that follows the circumference of the mango beginning at the stem and this ridge is the outline of the seed inside. Place the mango on its edge on the cutting board. Starting about ¼ to ½ inch on one side of the ridge, use your big knife to slice down through the fruit just on the outside of the seed. If you bump into the seed a little, that’s fine; just curve your cut out a tiny bit and keep going until you have a cupped hand-shaped piece of mango separated from the seed. Do the same thing to the other side.
Now you have two pieces of mango with the skin still holding it together. We’ll use the skin to hold the fruit together while slicing it into cubes. Place the mango half on a kitchen towel on the cutting board; I actually hold the fruit in my hand to do this because it gives me more control but practice a few times before trying that. A sharp knife is really important here; if you are struggling to cut through the fibers in the mango, you are much more likely to slip and risk cutting yourself. I like a smaller paring knife for this part of the job. Starting close to the edge, make slices down through the fruit just to the skin but without cutting through it. Vary the width of your slices depending on the size you want the pieces to be. Turn the mango and make another series of slices horizontal to the first slices to form cubes.
Pick up the piece of mango and press gently into the center of the skin, popping the fruit inside out. Cut the cubes of fruit away from the skin. Enjoy!