Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How to Cut a Mango

Each month this year, I plan to give myself some sort of challenge, to try to improve how I'm doing in that particular area.  In January, I did the Clean Out the Cupboards Challenge to use up the excess food in my pantry and spend as little as possible at the stores.  Last month, I did the Drugstore Bootstrap Challenge to build up my Extra Care Bucks from CVS and my Register Rewards from Walgreens.  In March and April, I challenged myself to Give Back...One Coupon at a Time.

May is Mango Month here at Frugal Follies!  You see, I have two large mango trees in my backyard, full of fruit about to ripen.  Too many years, I've wasted this great resource by just using a few and letting the rest fall on the ground.

But today I harvested 37 mangoes from my tree!  In the coming days I'll be cutting them up to make jams, sauces, and many more yummy items.  So I thought I'd show you how to cut a mango.

A mango has a very large, flat pit inside it.  Here's the best way to get the mango flesh out of the mango without running into the pit, or without wasting much mango flesh.  After that, I'll give you my faster, but slightly more wasteful, way to cut a mango.

You'll need a knife, a spoon, a cutting board, and a mango.

1.  Hold the mango on its narrow side. (That's my six-year-old doing the holding.) Mangoes aren't perfectly round; two sides are flat and long, and the other two sides are narrow. The seed faces the flat side. You'll need to hold it, or it will roll over onto the longer, flatter side.

2.  Make a cut through the middle of the narrow side. Cut until you hit the pit. Then continue that cut in a circle around the mango.

3.  Put the spoon in the cut that you've made, and wiggle it around until the two sides have separated a bit. Then use the spoon to separate one side of the mango from the pit.

4.  With the spoon, remove the pit from the other side of the mango.

5.  Cut a checkerboard pattern into the mango flesh without cutting through the skin. (You might cut through the edges of the skin; this is okay. Just don't cut all the way through.)

6.  Flatten the mango half out. Cutting from the side, cut between the mango flesh and the skin so that the cubes are removed.  Now you have mango cubes to use in any recipe (like my yummy mango and pineapple salsa).

Now for my quicker way:
1.  Hold the mango on the narrow end, as in step 1.
2.  Slice off the right side of the mango at the point where the flesh meets the pit.  If you hit the pit, move a little more to the right and try again.
3.  Slice off the left side of the mango at the point where the flesh meets the pit.  Again, move to the left if you hit the pit.
4.  Turn the mango over onto a cut side and do the left and right sides again.  You'll end up with two circular pieces and two rectangular-shaped pieces.
5. Cut the checkerboard into the four mango pieces as in step 5 above.
6.  Remove the mango cubes from the skin as in step 6 above.

This method leaves more mango pulp on the pit.  But with 37 mangoes, and more to come, I think I can waste a little bit of mango here and there.

Got any favorite tips involving mangoes?  Please leave a comment!

For more frugal tips, please check out the bloggers listed on the left sidebar under Frugal Tips Linkups. There are lots of great ideas on each blog and I'm sure you'll find lots of wonderful tips!
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JessieLeigh May 25, 2011 at 10:34 AM  

Thanks for this! I have a mango loving one year old (though, sadly, no tree!) and I always feel like I'm wasting a ton when I cut this. This is very helpful!

Frugal Sara May 27, 2011 at 9:23 AM  

Interesting. I can honestly say I have never had a mango. You make me want to try one, they look yummy!

Christy May 28, 2011 at 7:36 PM  

I wasted like my whole mango the other day and was thinking "I bet there is a blog post somewhere that tells me how to do it" and ta duh! You did it for me!!

Holly May 31, 2011 at 11:11 PM  

You have mango trees?! That's cool! We love mangoes; I usually use your second method. Have you ever tried one of those mango pitters (Oxo makes one). I've always wondered how well they really work.
Thanks for linking!

Unknown June 8, 2012 at 2:56 PM  

Glad I came across this ... the father of my boss is bring bags of mangos in every other day ... getting ready to start freezing them but NOT in a big blob like last year. The spoon technique doesn't look like it would take 'too' much longer :) Wish me luck!

Unknown September 25, 2012 at 10:16 AM  

this is awesome so much simpler! Less waste and everything.

tuckersaver at hotmail dot com

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