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Eating a Mango

Updated on April 5, 2009

The Effort of Peeling and Cutting is Worth It

Mango's are a tropical fruit that appear to have originated in South Asia. While they originated in South Asia, mangoes are now cultivated throughout the tropics where they are a popular fruit. In addition to being very good to eat, mango's are also a healthy addition to one's diet.

While I was first introduced to mangoes while visiting Honduras years ago, it is only since moving to Arizona that I have come to eat them regularly. Like other fruits, modern transportation has made the mango available in much of the world. Also, like some other fruits, mangoes are best when picked ripe rather than being allowed to ripen after harvesting (although they will ripen after being harvested - one just has to have patience, something that I don't have in abundance). Being close to Mexico and having a large Mexican population used to eating mangoes, this fruit can be found in abundance in grocery stores in Tucson where I live.

Mango's are slightly pear shaped and range in size from three to nine inches long and two to four inches in diameter. Ripe mangoes are firm, but yield to gentle pressure. The color of a ripe mango tends to be mostly red, orange, yellow or a combination of these. Since it is not uncommon for ripe mangoes in the store to have some green as well, I usually use a combination of touch and color in determining if the mango is ripe enough for eating. The fruit is a rich yellow and noticeably fibrous with a taste somewhat like a peach.

While juicy and very tasty, ripe mangoes are also a very sloppy and difficult fruit to eat. The skin is thick and leathery but, on ripe mangoes, can be fairly easily separated from the fruit. As I said, my first experience with them was years ago in Central America as I was driving with friends from Honduras to Guatemala. We had stopped at a little town and brought some mangoes and my friend's 7 year old daughter immediately bit into the skin round the top of the mango, ripped about half of it off with her teeth and dove into the juicy fruit underneath. Sloppy, but effective.

Now days I generally eat mangoes with a meal, usually breakfast. My preferred method is to peel off the skin with a knife by quartering it with four slits from top to bottom. You cannot cut the mango in half, quarters or any other reasonable units because in the middle of the mango there is a large, hard pit or seed. This pit is somewhat flat and rectangular with rounded edges. The pit is only slightly shorter in height than the mango in which it is embedded. Placing the knife under the skin at the top, I gently pull the skin away from the fruit. Many times I can peel off the entire quarter section skin with one stroke. If the skin tears, as it will sometimes, I pull that section off and then return and repeat the process for the part that remained on the quarter. Peeling becomes more difficult as you advance around the mango because the fruit underneath is juicy and slippery. Once the skin is off, I try to slice the fruit off the pit. Since the pit is wide and flat you will get more fruit from the two flat sides than from the sides along the edges of the pit. Once I have removed as much as possible with the knife, I use my teeth to scrape off as much as I can from the pit.

That done, I rinse the juice off my hands, dry them and sit down with a fork and enjoy my mango.

Ready to start with my mango, sharp knife and plate.
Ready to start with my mango, sharp knife and plate.
Making a cut from top to bottom.
Making a cut from top to bottom.
Peeling off the skin with the knife.
Peeling off the skin with the knife.
The fully peeled mango.
The fully peeled mango.
Peeled mango and the strips of skin that were removed.
Peeled mango and the strips of skin that were removed.
My plate of sliced fruit with seed next to a fresh mango for size comparison (note how fruit clings to the seed).
My plate of sliced fruit with seed next to a fresh mango for size comparison (note how fruit clings to the seed).
Another photo of a mango and seed for size comparison.
Another photo of a mango and seed for size comparison.
Note the fibrous texture of the fruit.
Note the fibrous texture of the fruit.


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    • awkward choir boy profile image

      awkward choir boy 

      9 years ago from HOME

      Thanks so much for this article. i didn't actually know that the mango is such a useful fruit until now.Im my town,we kids use it to play ball after satisfying ourselves with it.keep it up.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 

      9 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      coming from the southeast asia, i grew up with different kinds of mangoes. the one with reddish color is called apple mangoes, but the one varieties that are purely yellow when ripe are the sweetest. the easier way to eat it is to slice the fruit closest to its pits on both sides, then get a spoon and spoon the meat from the sliced sides. less messy.

      another favorite way of eating mangoes is dipping the peeled and unripe mango on fermented fish paste (bagoong)

    • crystolite profile image


      9 years ago from Houston TX

      Great and lovely information that really widen my knowledge.thanks.

    • amritpal bhatia profile image

      amritpal bhatia 

      10 years ago from New Delhi, India

      In my country, India, we have hundreds of varieties of mangoes. Some are just squeezed and their pulp sucked. Others are cut with knife and the pulp is eaten with a spoon. Well, overall a good hub to read!

    • marisuewrites profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      Oh My Gosh, I was so there!! Reading your description makes me much less a Klutz. I just knew something was wrong with me. I drip juice to the elbow, but Mangos are so worth it. I hate the ones already chunked at the grocery store, cuz they're hard. I Love a ripe mango, which is the most difficult fruit in the world to peel. You described the experience perfectly.

      I'm craving one now!!

    • ggerner profile image


      10 years ago

      The smaller mangos that are less round/more tapered are sweeter and less stringy. When I was a kid, our house was surrounded by mango trees. I could eat six of them in one sitting.

      For a crunchy snack, try them when they're still green and tart. Just carve the flesh into thin layers. While not yet sweet, serve unripe mangos as an appetizer or part of a salad.

    • nycca profile image


      10 years ago

      So yummy hub. Hope to have it one day:)

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great article! I live in south Florida and I have a massive mango tree growing in my yard and it's just about time to start picking :) yay lol.

    • profile image 

      10 years ago from Asia

      try this lovely mango dessert

    • brightforyou profile image

      Helen Lewis 

      11 years ago from Florida

      Yummy hub - thanks!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      that's a great article

    • febriedethan profile image


      11 years ago from Indonesia

      I love mango and now it's mango peek season in my country, you may buy 3 kilos (about 6 pounds) of ripe mango in just $1 :) But the mango pictures above are different with mango in Indonesia, still look delicious. Wonderful hub:)

    • zuoguanggao profile image


      11 years ago

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      i love the the flavor of mango! however i hate that i can't eat them :( mango is related to the poison ivy plant and the skin has the same oil "urushiol" oil that causes the same contact dermatitis rash in people who are sensitive to it. i happen to be very allergic to poison ivy. right now in fact i have a terrible rash on my lips and a few spots on my fingers. so today i am sitting at home with crusty lips while my boyfriend and father are out on the boat fishing and swimming on this amazing day. dang mango i am supposed to be snorkeling right now! so beware anyone that is allergic to poison ivy cause mangos will give you the same horrible rash!

    • ugina profile image


      11 years ago from Bhutan

      I love mangoes. We get a lot of mangoes from India and they are all so sweet and juicy and delicious. They have different names like Langra, Chousa, Dhasera and Alphonso. I find it easier to eat a mango by first cutting a chunky slice of it, complete with the skin, scraping as near to the stone inside as possible, then with your knife, you make a checked design on the fleshy part and using your hands, push from the skin side to make the fleshy side pop out, and the mango flesh pops out in neat squares. Try it this way. Less messy. You can also use a spoon to scoop out the squares you make on the fleshy part, while the skin helps to keep the shape like a cup.

    • ratnaveera profile image


      11 years ago from Cumbum

      Thanks for this Great Hub Chuck! I love mangoes but I prefer quality commercial mango squash than natural fruits.

    • mythbuster profile image


      11 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Fantastic I don't have to be all sticky anymore and leave mango-sticky-prints all over my kitchen anymore. I had resorted to buying frozen chunks of mangos because I could never get the hang of peeling them...but I've tried slicing and peeling as illustrated and it works quite well.

    • prasetio30 profile image


      11 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Mango is a tropical fruit. I like to eat mango. Many kind of mango in my country. good picture in serve mango.

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Esther Shamsunder 

      11 years ago from Bangalore,India

      It is now mango season in India.And we love having mangoes any time of the day.We also make and store jams,pickles(several varieties),chutneys,cakes,icecreams. Raw or ripe,we love them.

    • flamingoes profile image


      11 years ago from Mumbai

      Pretty interesting and detailed way to peel and eat a mango. Visit for bringing home fresh alphonso mangoes

    • frogyfish profile image


      11 years ago from Central United States of America

      Yes, I luv mangos, messy and all! A few years ago I actually planted a seed that had just begun sprouting and grew a tree that reached about 10 inches tall. It died when I went on vacation and it didn't get enough watering. Haven't seen a sprouting seed since then.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      had my firdt mango today and i am now hooked

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Mango is my favourate food also. It is very tasty to me. Your description is very interesting.

    • Hally Z. profile image

      Hally Z. 

      11 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Your mango pits look like mine after I scrape them down with my teeth.I just love those things, despite their messiness. There is a market here about 80 miles south where I can buy mangoes for around $5/dozen, at least on a good day.

    • Chuck profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuck Nugent 

      12 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      fretziejf - thank you for visiting my Hub and for your comment. My father was in the Philippines with the U.S. Army during World War II and I have included one of his stories in my Hub entitled "Some Smoking War Tales"

      The mango float sounds good. I noticed on your profile that you are new to HubPages and have yet to publish anything. Why don't you publish the mango float recipe as your first hub? Recipes are popular and I have had good readership with some that I have published. Here is a link to a recipe on a Hub by one of my sons, who also writes for HubPages, as an example.

      When you publish the Hub with the recipe copy the URL and come back here and paste the link into a comment on this Hub (the same way I just pasted the two links in this comment) reminding people of the mango float and giving the link to your recipe for it. I am sure readers of this Hub would enjoy having a link to the recipe for the mango float and this could help drive more traffic to your Hub.

      Good luck and welcome to HubPages.

    • fretziejf profile image


      12 years ago

      hi chuck, i'm from the philippines and i'm happy you statred discussing about OUR NATIONAL FRUIT here in our country. and i'm proud to say that our fruit must be delicious and smells great. in fact we have so many recipes using mango as the main ingredient; like did you hear already mango float? wow it's favorite ofall here.:))

    • StephanieP profile image


      12 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      I've recently rediscovered mangoes and now enjoy a couple a week. A few months ago, I had a very simple yet delcious mango desert in a Thai resaurant that consisted of fresh mango, coconut milk or sweetened condensed milk and toasted sesame seeds. Yum!

    • profile image

      stephen mukuna of kenya 

      12 years ago


    • apple1165 profile image


      12 years ago

      mango is my favorite. your mango is different from mango in Philippines.

    • profile image 

      12 years ago

      thanks i am new to this fruit,this was very helpful, hope i like it again thanks

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Mangoes are my all time favorite fruit. In Chiang Mai they serve mango sticky rice, one of the best desserts ever. You get sweetened warm sticky rice next to a huge serving of chilled mango. The two flavors together are so addictive.

      It's worth the trip to Thailand just to eat this. :D

    • Chuck profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuck Nugent 

      12 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Sally, thanks for the comments and the tip on how to get help finding a ripe mango in the produce section. Actually this technique will work with any produce item that you are not sure how to find a ripe one.

      As to the mango salsa, I was introduced to it a few years ago and love it. Anyone looking for a new and enjoyable taste experience should try this. I have never tried to make it myself but you make it sound easy. Thanks again.

    • Sally's Trove profile image


      12 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      My mother introduced me to the mango.  She has a talent for selecting the ripe ones in the store.  I don't have that talent.  So when I want a mango and she's not around, I hang out in the produce section and wait until I see someone who looks like they know what they're doing.  Then I go up and ask, "Hey, can you help me pick a ripe mango?"  Never fails, I get a good one.

      Let's not forget mango salsa. Ripe mango, all the other ingredients for a traditional tomato salsa minus the tomato, plus lime juice. Knock your friends' socks off.

    • marisuewrites profile image


      12 years ago from USA

      sweet and juicy, very good for you, heavenly...

    • fibromyalgia cure profile image

      fibromyalgia cure 

      12 years ago from Los Angeles

      I first tried this fruit in Tunisia, pity I didn't know how to 'cook' it :)

    • johnr54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 

      12 years ago from Texas

      I had some of these in Central America last year and they have never tasted so good. Nothing in the store beats the fresh ones in the tropics.

    • solarshingles profile image


      12 years ago from london

      Graet job! I love mango and i have my own way to eat it, but it's quite messy and not so much for the publis, though.

      I like your simple explanation and your photos, as well

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      i love it to the core. im from india and we have many varieties here now the season is going to start.

    • profile image

      Rick Raubenheimer 

      12 years ago

      A less messy way is illustrated here:

    • profile image

      Jillian Feth 

      13 years ago

      HEy thanks so much. Today I bought a mango but didn't know how to eat it or know if it was ripe but this really helped thanks.

    • profile image


      13 years ago

      love those messy ,heavenly delites

    • profile image


      13 years ago

      I hear that mango fruit is really a powerfully healthy addition to one's diet. I personally do not like the flavor. Probably, because I never grew up with any...and people become accustom to what they are use to. I love to make smoothies, though, with protein powder in is good for additional amino acids...that we do not produce on our own... My daughter has put mango in it..and other fruits. It is very good. Joan


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