How to Cut a Mango and More on the Delicious Drupe

A reader asked me for advice on “how to cut a mango without mangling it.” This is a very good question, and timely, too. We’re coming into mango season, so roll up your sleeves and get deliciously sticky!

How to Picture Guides and Video Clips on How to Cut a Mango

The secret is to follow the shape of the fruit. While mangos come in a stunning variety of shapes and sizes and colors, most all have a slightly elliptical shape. The seed is rather flat so you want shave closely to it.

This video is on YouTube and the second one that pops up is also pretty good, too. Click here for that. Here’s a visual step-by-step guide to “Porcupining” a Mango. Wonder if this is a chef’s or a shoemaker’s term? (Click on link to Ruhlman to learn what “shoemaker” means.)

Mango Myths and Facts

  • The Mango tree plays a sacred role in India; it is a symbol of love and some believe that the Mango tree can grant wishes.
  • More fresh mangos are eaten every day than any other fruit in the world.
  • The ‘Paisley’ design motif is a design from India based on the mango.
  • The fruit of the mango is called a Drupe – consisting of the mesocarp (edible fleshy part) and endocarp (large woody, flattened pit). Can you name other drupes? (answer below)
  • Amchoor is a powdered spice used in Indian (mostly Northern, vegetarian) cooking. It’s made from green, unripe mangos, which are sliced, sun-dried and ground into a fine powder and imparts a sour, tangy, fruity flavor to foods.
  • Today there are more than 1,000 different varieties of mangos throughout the world. Mangos come in different shapes, sizes and coloring depending on the ripeness. The colors range from yellow to green to orange or red. They weigh as little as a few ounces up to a few pounds. All varieties have a very rich tropical flavor when ripe.


Mango pairs well with shellfish and more. It can be terrific in sweet dishes and a wonderful foil to spicy, hot, or savory dishes. It figures prominently in many Indian dishes. What’s a poori got to do with a mango? For that matter, what’s a poori? Read here.

Climbing the Mango Tree

Ellen Smart’s review (click link to go to Powell’s) of Madhur Jaffrey’s book “Climbing the Mango Tree” is quite good. I read the book and have to say the privileged childhood she describes quite lovingly would have put me off if not for the tender and sensual food memories and the loving way she weaves them together with the memoir.

“A beautifully written description of life in pre-Partition India, guaranteed to tug at the heart strings of anyone who has lived in India and of anyone who has wanted to. Jaffrey includes recipes, too, which is a nice surprise. Also a surprise is her short, biting, bitter, well-deserved condemnation of Partition, which finished forever the way of life lovingly described in “Climbing the Mango Trees.”

Answer: The class of fruits called Drupes includes: peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, coffee, olives.

~ by jacqueline1230 on May 9, 2008.

2 Responses to “How to Cut a Mango and More on the Delicious Drupe”

  1. Thanks for the Mango information. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to eat mango and completely destroyed it. First I would peel it which was my first mistake, then I would try to hold the slimmy thing while cutting around the core. What didn’t slip out of my hands ended up on the floor would be put in a bowl. The pieces were either long pulled apart things or small chucks that weren’t even worth eatting. I think with this information I may just enjoy a nice ripe mango snack. Thanks again Jackie!!

  2. Kelley – Thanks for reminding me. That’s a good safety tip, they are very slippery and I’ve cut myself trying to handle them before I learned how!
    – Jackie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s