How to Slice and Dice a Mango

Today is too hot to do much of anything but think about eating mango ice cream.  It’s mid-July and we are in full-blown, all-out mango season on the west coast of Mexico. Tommy Atkins are everywhere, but we have also seen the sweet Ataulfos and giant Kents. Consuelo is who lives across from the kindergarten, is selling “Tommys”, four pesos for one kilo.

I bought ten kilos, which is a commitment.

Mangoes are picked green, just like bananas. They ripen within a week, becoming juicy, sweet and sticky. The food dryer, the freezer, the ice cream maker and me —  we will all be working over-time for the rest of the week as my ten kilos of Tommys become tender to the touch and fill the house with their perfume.

A few have already ripened, and I know that mango ice cream will be the first thing to make. That is, after we eat our fill of plain, sliced, unadorned mangoes.

Here’s how to slice and dice a mango if you don’t know how to tackle this gorgeous, tropical fruit.

Stand the mango on its fat end, and slice the two cheeks off, cutting as close to the slender seed as you can without cutting into it. In the upper right of this photo, you can see a cheek that was cut too close to the seed. No matter, just trim out the piece of seed.

Place the cheek on a cutting board or cradle in the palm of your hand, and, with a paring knife, score the flesh into whatever size pieces you wish, being careful not to cut through the skin. I scored into 1/2″ dice.

Still holding the cheek in the palm of your hand, take a soup spoon and run its edge between the flesh and the skin, releasing the pieces of mango. Do this over a bowl so that no juice is lost. The juice can be added to a smoothie, your morning glass of orange juice or a glass of iced green tea. This photo shows the fibrous nature of Tommy Atkins. Their flavor and sweetness more than make up for the fibers.

Run the paring knife around the edge of the mid-section to remove the peel, and slice off as much fruit as you can from the seed.

A bowl of diced mango, ready for topping cereal, ice cream, or a dish of yogurt.

The weather page reports that it is 86 degrees F., “feels like 97 F.” with the humidity factored in. Mango ice cream is beckoning.

A tray of mango slices heading to the food dryer.

Once dry, they will keep for months in the fridge, but most likely will be long gone by winter. A piece of dry mango is as sweet as candy. I wish you were here to share the mango bounty with us.

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8 thoughts on “How to Slice and Dice a Mango

  1. I wish I was there to help you with this bounty, too. Just bought some mangoes today and I’ve already made myself a licuado. The Kents are my absolute favorites.

    1. We are fortunate to have such a wide selection of mango varieties available. I love the intensity of the Tommy Atkins, but the Kents have a sweetness of their own. Ataulfos are another favorite, with buttery flesh and little fiber. And criollos, the small, wild mangoes … and more I have yet to discover.

  2. Anneke

    Kathleen, your mango post reminds me of Leah Danielson who would slice and dice while sitting in her bathtub! Wish we were there to enjoy this mango season too. A hug for you and Russell from us.

  3. Lorin Johnson

    Kathy,
    Those look so good. I know that if we were in San Pancho we’d be eating many per day. Maria leaves big bowls of them for us on arrival as she does flowers. Most mornings Jerry and I would cut them as you did, but rather than scraping them out with a spoon, we would use our teeth over the sand with juices running down our arms. Yum!
    Lorin

    1. I love your description of eating mangoes with the juice running down your arms! I have stood in the surf and eaten them the same way, then dipped into the water to rinse off. Mango juice stains clothing, so wearing a bikini is the best attire for this method of eating.

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