Mangoes happen to be on my top ten list of favorite foods (well, my list exceeds ten, if I'm being honest.)
When this celebrated tropical fruit is perfectly ripe during the peak of its season, roughly April through September, it's quite a magical experience. Really.
To get the maximum flavor from a mango, you must know how to cut it properly. Did you know a mango pit is flat? Like a pancake! It's oval shaped and runs almost the entire length of the mango. Knowing how to cut a mango properly will ensure that you don't accidentally deprive yourself of any of its oh-so-delicious tastiness!
This is my preferred method for cutting mangoes:
1. First and most importantly, choose the right mango. Ripe but firm is what you want.
2. Make sure you have a sharp knife. I prefer a small chef's knife for the first cuts and then a paring knife for later, smaller cuts.
3. Always work on a clean, dry surface. And when you cut anything, it's a good idea to place a damp towel under your cutting board to keep it from moving around.
4. Holding the mango in place on the cutting board, cut just off the center line, lengthwise. If your knife isn't going through with ease, simply remove it and place it a tiny bit more off the center line. You want to be as close to the pit as you can be. Imagine the side surface of your knife almost brushing the side of the flat pit inside.
5. Repeat this process on the mango's other side. You'll have two halves, and a flat center portion of the mango that includes the pit.
6. To cut the mango into a dice, use a paring knife and take one mango half and make lengthwise and crosswise cuts in it, touching the inside of the skin, but not cutting through it.
7. Now reverse invert this half of the mango (almost like turning it inside out with your thumbs, pushing out from the skin side) and use the paring knife to cut away the pieces from the peel.
8. If you want long slices, it's easiest to cut the half into slices, this time cutting all the way through, and then remove the skin with your paring knife.
9. To get the mango flesh from around the pit, lay the center piece flat, and use the paring knife to cut the fruit off the pit.
Voila! Enjoy with family and friends. There's nothing quite like a perfect (and perfectly prepared) mango!