Cutting Mangoes

There's a place close to my office where I venture to often to grab a fresh salad and a side of fruit. The place is called Salad World and I remember one day, not too long ago, when I included some fresh chunks of mango in my little fruit cup.

The flavor was amazing. And the texture? The most perfect ever. I've always had a tough time purchasing perfect mangoes. For me they're usually too hard and a bit more on the bitter side than I'd prefer. I've even tried allowing them to develop for a few extra days in a paper bag on the counter: still no luck.

My other challenge with mangoes? Cutting them. Every time I place a mango on a cutting board and reach for my chef's knife, my mind is suddenly taken back to chef Tina's International Cuisine class where she showed me, and I'm sure more than once, how to successfully cut up a mango. I was baffled, as were many of my peers in class. Do you peel the outside first? I tried to slice through with my knife, but it gets stuck in the middle. Chaos. And even to this day, I continue to consider it a roadblock. Apparently her excellent instructions did not stick to my poor memory.

The other day I asked my fellow Facebook friends how they cut up a mango. I received a few responses from some good friends which led me to believe that I could soon be on to successful cutting of the one mango I had sitting on my kitchen counter.

Angela confessed right away: "I get the frozen chunks from Costco. Lazy, huh?"
Well, not totally. I responded by saying I too often purchase a bag of the frozen cubes for my morning protein shakes.

Martin added in: "Start by peeling the outside with a potato peeler, works every time."

Carrie chimed: "I cut them in half, cut the yummy insides in a checker board pattern, push on the outside skin to pop it inside out and cut off the chunks."
Ok, that just sounds absolutely logical and way too easy!

Denise supported Carrie's system, but said she cuts hers: "In thirds."

But how do they cut all the way through? That is my big problem. Denise said by using a bigger or sharper knife or giving it an extra day or two of ripening.

Well ok then. I was ready to go.

So I took my mango and placed it on the cutting board. I grabbed my chef's knife and introduced the two. And away I cut. I will be honest, I think this mango actually sat a little too long, but that means it should have been easier to cut, right? Not so my friends.

Honest, I tried with all my might, but there was no way that knife was getting through. Is it not sharp enough? That would be a disgrace! Did I not allow it to mature in its brown paper bag long enough? The skin was beginning to wrinkle, how much longer did it need?

I didn't spend too much time and energy trying to cut through and carve out perfect-looking orange cubes, but instead went my normal route: I stand mine on it's head and run my knife in a curving motion from top to bottom. Similar to how some might peel an apple I guess. This delivers longer slices versus cubes.

In any case it was absolutely delicious; almost up to snuff with Salad World's amazing mangoes.

So as my case has always been to be on an exploration of the culinary world I will happily add mangoes to my list for both finding those which are perfectly ripe, as well as playing around with the best ways to dive in a savor the gorgeous fruit.

Let the adventures and exploration continue.


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