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How Do You Eat Mango? Here’s How to Peel a Mango (and Eat it Like a Human)

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Mangos are delicious and messy. They are one of the hardest-to-eat fruits for new expats and travelers – especially those of us from non-tropical climates. In this post, you'll learn how to peel and eat a mango (like a human).

eat a mango

I didn't like mangoes in Canada. They never ripened, were expensive, and they tasted like soap.

Mangoes sold at the supermarket were always hard. Just set it on the window ledge for a few days, they said. It'll ripen and be delicious, they said. Not true.

Mangoes in Canada arrive hard and unripe. They then quickly go from unripe to rotten. They seem to have forgotten the important step of being ripe and delicious.

Many expats move to a country where mangoes are both abundant, inexpensive and delicious.
But this creates a conundrum.

How can a gringo (with no experience) successfully eat this tropical fruit?

How to Eat a Mango

How is a mango to be eaten – while maintaining some level of human dignity?

We've noticed that there are three kinds of mango eaters. The first two are most common. The third method is a solid option.

  1. Rip & Tear: Get sticky up to your elbows while ripping it open and scraping the flesh off with your teeth. Often done while hunched over a sink.
  2. Juice Sucker: Gently massage the mango until soft – it becomes a sack of juice. Then bite a small hole in the end and suck out all the pure juice. Note: we did this for a few years when we first moved to Ecuador – until we discovered that an uncomfortable number of them had maggots.
  3. Cup Scooper: Following the simple steps below, you can easily remove the soft ripe flesh with a drinking glass.

eat a mango
Like eating? Then you'll love our guide to Ecuadorian food

Love mango but hate the mess?

Here's how to get the fruit without having to eat it over the kitchen sink.

how to eat a mango
Learn more about other fruits to try in Ecuador.

Eat a Mango Like a Human

If you've ever tried to eat a mango, you know that it will take away almost all of your dignity.

You know what I'm talking about.

Yellow pulp on both cheeks and juice dripping off your elbows. Even animals are better at it than we are.

There must be a better way…

3 Steps to Peel a Mango (Like a Human)

Here is a better (more civilized) way to peel a mango:

  1. Cut both sides off the mango (using a cutting board and care not to take off your finger tips)
  2. Holding the cheek in your hand, flesh side up, place the mango against the lip of a standard drinking glass.
  3. Slide the mango down, allowing the lip of the glass to separate the flesh from the skin.

Not sure of the execution? Check out this short video:

How to peel a mango in under 10 seconds


Your Turn

How do you eat a mango? How do you peel a mango? Are you one of the above? Or do you have another method? {Please share it in the comments below}

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Bob

Wednesday 15th of January 2020

Ever fillet a northern pike, same principal.

Carol

Saturday 6th of July 2019

I was watching an episode of Poirot in which he described how to cut a mango without getting messy. Just what I needed! He made a lengthwise cut on both sides, then used a tablespoon to scoop out the pit, then diced each half like in all the tutorials. It all seemed effortless, but when I tried it out, I made the usual mess and ended up over the sink. I'm still on the outlook for a more dignified way, but it's comforting to know I'm not alone.

Louise

Wednesday 24th of June 2015

I'm a 'rip and tear' but I love the sound of the juice sucker! I didn't like mangoes either in the UK, until I tasted a fresh one in Costa Rica. Lou x

Al Timm

Tuesday 14th of April 2015

The wife and I love Mangos! Before I buy a Mango it has to have a bit of a softness to it when I give it a very gentle squeeze. A sign of ripeness. I wash my hands first since I use the peeling method. Completely peeled I cut from one end into and down to the end of the seed....turn the knife at a bit of an angle and proceed cutting along the flat side of the seed staying right against the seed ... do the same on the other side...then you still can cut off small slices on each side from the center to the skinny edge of the seed and gnaw off the rest. Cut to desired size and enjoy as is or mix with other fruits with or without yogurt. I'm getting hungry! :))

Howard Perry

Sunday 19th of October 2014

I'm from South East Australia and mangos grow in the northern, tropical part. Because, interstate biosecurity control is so good, you never get any living thing in a mango. They tend to be picked just before they ripen, so there is a good chance of getting a mango which will ripen to a nice juicy sweet fruit. The Australian way of eating mango- 1 Place mango on its side lengthways. 2. Turn mango so that the sides are fatter than top due to the seed in the centre 3,. With sharp knife cut from top to bottom until you reach the seed shell, then turn the knife outwards and continue cutting around the seed., 4, Repeat this on the other side. 5, The mango is now in 3 pieces. If you have been successful there will only be a little flesh and skin attached to the seed and you can cut this off and suck it away from the skin. 6. For the 2 main halves, place each half skin downwards and make knife cuts along the length, then turn half at right angles and make more cuts. IMPORTANT. when making these cuts, do not cut right throught the skin. 7. Now you have 2 mango halves with flesh cut into squares. 8. Turn each half, so that skin is upwards and flesh downwards. Push skin with finger to turn half inside out. This is why you must not cut the skin. 9., You can eat mango like this picking off individual cubes with teeth or use spoon or knife to remove flesh from skin into a dish for serving. Try it.

Bryan Haines

Monday 20th of October 2014

Thanks Howard!