Thursday

how to cut a mango


Mangoes are delicious, sweet and have a wonderful texture. They are great in smoothies, salads, parfaits, salsa and many other recipes. Mangoes have lots of minerals and vitamins. If you are curious about mango nutritional values click HERE.

Choosing a ripe mango is the key for many recipes. So we'll start with that and we'll finish with 'how to peel and cut a mango'.


How to choose a mango? Hold the mango in your hand and press it. The mango should be firm but not hard like a rock, hello. The mango should give a little, but not too much. Now, this 'a little' is the trick, right? How little is little?  If you are shy just get a mango you think is the right one, go home and check if you made the right choice. That's called learning by trial and error. 

If you are not shy ask someone nearby, like the guy from the market or the lady also buying mangoes. Don't ask, "which is the ripe mango?". Ask 'How do I know if a mango is ripe?'. Now you are learning with a hands on experience (can't you tell I'm a Primary teacher?).

However, (this is a positive however) if you bought a rock hard mango don't despair and don't cut it either. Just wait for it to ripe. Actually you might not find any ripe mango in the market's mango pile anyway, and you'll have to buy an unripe one and put your recipe in the drawer for a few days (the recipe, not the mango, read on to know why).

A mango should not have soft spots. Those might be signs that the mango is rotting. US markets in general are very good in removing rotten items from their shelves/displays. I don't know about this in Brazil anymore (I'm Brazilian).

Do not use color as an indicator of ripeness, use the the 'feel' to judge. An all green mango can be perfectly ripe and delicious. 

How to store a mango?
Leave unripe mangoes out of the refrigerator where they will continue to ripe, become sweeter and softer. Once the mangoes are ripe you should store them in the refrigerator as this will delay the ripening process. Ripe mangoes should last about 5 days in the refrigerator.

You can peel, cube and freeze mangoes to use later. 

If a mango is really soft, if it is a little too ripe but not spoiled, you can use it in a smoothie. You can also save it for later by peeling and scooping it (as it will be too mushy to cut in cubes) and placing it in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. Frozen mangoes last up to 6 months in an airtight container.

How to cut a mango?
First wash the mango or you will risk cross contamination. 
Dry it with a paper towel.





Cut the sides of the mango right along the pit, which is long and kinda flat.







You will have three parts. The middle of the mango attached to the pit and two halves. 

Notice how the middle is narrow because of the flat shape of the pit.







Peel the middle section.
I should have used a small knife.









Cut the flesh along the pit in small pieces (or in cubes if you can)







Cutting the halves - Make cuts lengthwise and crosswise being careful not to cut through the peel.








Press the mango out to make a 'hedgehog' like in the picture.








Now using a small knife, usually a paring knife, cut out the cubes.









That's it! 






Now that your mango is cut how about a Mango and Cucumber Salad?










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