Fruit Stand: Mango

a bowl of sliced mango

What’s better than living in a place with a mango season?  Living in a place with two!

Actually because of the varieties that are available, and because there are imports coming in from other Southeast Asian countries, there really isn’t a time when mangos are not available.  And that is a wonderful thing.

There are several varieties of mangoes, but our favorite is a green skin one called ‘honey gold’.  In Indonesia, we called it harum manis.  As its name implies this is a sweet mango.  It is soft too.  A ripe one will practically melt in your mouth.

There are other varieties that are tart and stringy.  They can be good too.  Sometimes I cut a sweet one and a tart one and have a bowl with both.  Good eats for sure.

I usually try to pick my own mangos myself.  I generally go by touch.  A ripe mango will not be rock hard.  There will be some give to the skin.  But it won’t be so soft that the skin stays dented after you press into it.

Here’s an illustrated guide to how I cut a mango.

I usually put a towel under my cutting board to catch juice.  If I don’t do this, and I don’t clean the counter fast enough, I will attract ants.

Towel under cutting board

Towel under cutting board

I also prepare a place for the fruit to go, usually a plastic container of some sort.  And I have ready a garbage bag for the skins and pits.

First, I stand the mango on the cutting board.  The knot, where the fruit used to be attached to the tree, goes down.  The smooth end points up.  I slice it down the middle, going around the large pit.  A good knife will be able to slide around the pit by feel.

slicing down the middle of the mango

slicing down the middle of the mango

Next I remove the skin around the pit. This can be done on the cutting board, or in your hand, if you are careful.

peeling around the pit

Peeling around the pit

The fruit around the pit is the prerogative of the mango slicer.  If I decide to just eat it, I consider it my “fee” for cutting the mango.

Getting fruit off the pit

Getting fruit off the pit

For each side, I cut a hash pattern, being careful not to cut through the skin.

scoring the mango half

Scoring the mango half

Turn the hashed mango convex.  As one friend calls it, make it into a hedge hog.

making the hedgehog

Now slice off the fruit from the skin.

Slicing fruit from the skin into the box

Slicing fruit from the skin into the box

Serve and enjoy.

 

a bowl of sliced mango

Results of our hard work