One of my U.S. based readers has asked about the best ways to slice a mango. He even forwarded a link to an article about a new fangled gadget that OXO is coming out with to make the task of slicing a mango easier â€“ yikes! An American who spent many fond years here in the Philippines, he is convinced, as I am too, that some of the worldâ€™s best mangoes are from this country. So, while this post may seem superfluous for most, here is a quick run down on mango slicing. Before I get to the knife, however, I must put in a brief mention on eating a mango without any utensils at all.
On a warm summer day, standing under or near a great big mango tree, take a perfectly ripe fruit at prevailing ambient temperature and tear off a piece of skin from the point of the mango and peel the skin back to the stem end in several segments. Munch on the juicy fruit as you would imagine a monkey eating a banana and ignore the ensuing messâ€¦ Mango juice dribbling down your forearm is part of the experience. Somehow, the fruit tastes better this wayâ€¦ itâ€™s primitive and delicious at the same time. You just have to try it because describing it is like attempting to put in words why most men like to relieve themselves in the woods or some nearby tree/bush when given the chance (and when local laws do not prevent them from doing so).
Okay, back to slicing. All you need is a nice sharp knife. A small one preferable to a large chefâ€™s knife that I use in the picture above. Just hold the mango with the stem side up Then do the same to the other side of the mango, resulting in two slices and a seed. Good slicers, of which I do not count myself among, end up with maximum meat on the slices and minimum pulp left on the seed. Serve the seed with a knife or fork plunged into it for ease of eating. The mango halves are served either with a teaspoon to scoop up the flesh or in hoity toitier households, with teaspoon and a fork to steady the mango half. Others like to make a crisscross harlequin like pattern on the mango to ease the scooping up of flesh. You often see this treatment in restaurants most likely as an attempt to justify the ridiculous mark-up they have just added to the fruit which they only had to chill and slice before serving to you.