On a sweltering summer's day, one of the best things we can do to cool off is to indulge in refreshing fruit. With all the options out there it's seemingly impossible to land on just one that you want, but there's one, in particular, that's versatile, juicy, and a fan favorite for many: the mango!

You can include it in tons of different recipes, though you first you need to learn how to cut it, peel it, determine if the skin if safe to eat, and how to eat a mango. Mangoes have much more variety than people think and even though it's often only seen as a dessert fruit, it can also be incorporated into tasty dinners! For all these reasons (and our deep love of mangoes) we've compiled the ultimate guide to help you get the most from your fruit.

How To Peel A Mango

Is The Mango Ripe?

someone peeling a mango

One of the first things you need to do is determine whether the mango is ripe. There are a few techniques you can use to figure out if your mango is ready to go from testing the firmness, smelling it, and not relying solely on the color of it.

You'll want your mangoes to yield to slight pressure, give off a sweet scent, and not worry too much about the color. There are over 500 mango types in the world and determining ripeness based on color alone might not leave you with the best fruit. Remember that if your mango is too hard, it isn't ripe yet, but if it's too mushy, then it's probably past its prime.

Peeling With A Knife

As soon as you get your hands on a ripe mango, it's time to peel it. There are two easy ways you can peel mangoes and the first way is with a knife.

  • Before you get started you'll need to wash the mango and then place it on a cutting board.
  • Grab the stem and flip the fruit on the cutting board so the stem is on top.
  • Use a knife to slice the peel off in segments, ensuring that you're not making deep cuts because you don't want tons of mango to come off with the skin.
  • Keep cutting the skin off until the entire fruit is peeled.
a bunch of mangoes on a wooden surface

Peeling With A Peeler

The second method is one of the easier ones and you can merely use a potato peeler on a mango the same way you would a potato.

  • The two ends of the mango will be left with the peel on them but all you need to do from there is slice those tips off.

Can You Eat Mango Skin?

Technically, mango skins are safe to consume, but plenty of people opt for ignoring it. Mango skin is edible yet tough and possesses a bitter taste. There is also a compound known as urushiol, which is commonly found in plants such as poison ivy or poison oak. People often experience an itch upon eating the skin because of this very reason. If you're someone who's particularly sensitive to urushiol then it's obviously best to peel it and consume the flesh.

However, if you're someone who can handle the skin no problem then you'll be able to ingest minerals, vitamins, and a healthy amount of fiber.

How To Cut A Mango

a scored mango on a cutting board

The best way you can cut a mango successfully is with the cubing method. This also doubles as a way to peel it and get as much flesh as you can from the skin.

  • For this method, you'll need to wash your mango beforehand and lay it on a cutting board with the stems on the side.
  • Use a serrated blade to cut into the middle, avoiding the large seed in the middle.
  • When you're cutting the flesh, be sure you cut around the seed.
  • After you've halved the mango, score the pieces into cubes. To score it all you need to do is make vertical then horizontal cuts along the mango half.
  • When it's done, the half should look like a checkerboard.
  • Once you've done this, push the skin up so that all the piece stick out.
  • From there, use a paring knife to cut the flesh from the skin and you're good to go!
a person with a scored half of a mango

How To Prepare A Mango

There are tons of delicious recipes you can enjoy with mangoes in the summer. As we mentioned before, mangoes are one of the most enjoyable fruits not only because of their taste but because of how many ways you can use it.

Fruit Salad

Once the mango halves are scored tons of people like eating the flesh on its own. I mean, who can blame them? But if you're looking for a little more variety then all you need to do is use the cubed mango with an assortment of other fruits that you enjoy. Fruit salads are super simple to make and only need to contain the foods you love most. This tasty treat is a great way to unwind on a summer's day.

Caramelized Mango

This recipe teaches you how to caramelize mango slices or cubes as a terrific addition to desserts. It doesn't require much effort or many ingredients on your end and you'll be left with a topping for yogurt or ice cream.

Mango Smoothie

What's more refreshing than a nice cold smoothie in the summer? Really, what's better than a nice cold smoothie any time of the year? Smoothies are super simple to make and are another one of those recipes that can be chalk full of ingredients you love. Whipping up a mango smoothie for a cool-down treat or a healthy breakfast will surely bring a smile to your face.

Mango Chicken

Where would this list be if we didn't include mango chicken? A popular dish for many, this dinner is a grab bag of herbs and spices that bring an incredible medley of flavors to your plate. This mixture of sweet and savory is a go-to dinner that has been gracing dinner tables for years.

a full mango next to cubed and sliced mango on a wooden surface

Mangoes are our friends. Not only do they make great desserts but they're brilliant additions to a wide variety of dinner options that we just can't resist. Understanding how to peel a mango, cut it, whether the skin is safe, and all the ways you can prepare it will only help you in the kitchen. Head to your local grocery store and pick up a mango (or several) so your home and belly can heartily thank you!

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