How do you cut a mango?
Once you learn how to work around the long, flat seed in the center of the mango, cutting it is really quite simple. Always wash the mango before cutting, and use a clean knife and cutting board. Here are the directions shared by the National Mango Board. If you prefer watching a cutting demonstration, go to the link on our Web site at www.douglas.ksu.edu or www.mango.org. There's lots of recipes on there, too.
Stand the mango on your cutting board stem-end down and hold. Place your knife about 1/4-inch from the widest center line and cut down through the mango. Flip the mango around and repeat this cut on the other side. The resulting ovals of mango flesh are known as the "cheeks." What's left in the middle is mostly the mango seed. Simply cut strips from each of the remaining sides of the seed.
On the cutting board, face the "cheeks" with flesh side up. Cut parallel slices into the mango flesh, being careful not to cut through the skin. Scoop the mango slices out of the mango skin using a large spoon. Or, after the parallel slices have been cut, turn the mango cheek 1/4 rotation and cut another set of parallel slices to make a checkerboard pattern. Turn the scored mango cheek inside out by pushing the skin up from underneath. Scrape the mango chunks off of the skin, using a knife or a spoon.
If you're a gadget-lover, you can even purchase a mango splitter. The mango splitter can be purchased at kitchen stores or online.
Q: When purchasing, what color is a ripe mango?
A: You actually can't choose a mango by its color. Fresh mangos come in all shades of green, yellow and red, with many mangos showing more than one color on their skin. Choose mangos that are heavy for their size with firm, unblemished skin. A ripe mango will have a slight "give" when gently squeezed. If you're looking for a mango that you can eat today, choose one that is slightly soft. A firmer mango would be a good choice if you plan to eat it several days from now. Also, with the stem end up, smell it. A ripe mango will have a sweet aroma.
To ripen mangos, keep them at room temperature. They will continue to ripen, becoming sweeter and softer over several days. Once ripe, you can move mangos to the refrigerator until you're ready to eat them.
Here's a yummy salad from the National Mango Board:
Spinach Salad with Mango Vinaigrette
1 (10-ounce) bag baby spinach
1 1/2 large ripe mangos, peeled, pitted, and cubed
1 medium tomato, cored, seeded and finely chopped
1/3 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
Mango Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Place spinach, mango, tomato, walnuts and green onions in a large bowl. Drizzle with Mango Vinaigrette and toss well to coat. Add blue cheese and toss again very lightly. Serve immediately with freshly ground pepper. Serves 6.
Nutrition per serving: 194 calories, 5 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrate, 13 grams fat, 6 milligrams cholesterol, 244 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.
1/2 peeled and pitted mango
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine mango, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt in a blender container or small food processor; blend until smooth. (May be made several days ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve.)