3 easy ways to cut a mango to avoid the annoying seed

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3 easy ways to cut a mango to avoid the annoying seed
The key to cutting a mango is avoiding the long, flat pit that runs through the center.Thu Thai Thanh / EyeEm/Getty Images
  • Mangos contain a large, flat pit that clings to the fruit, making it difficult to remove.
  • Use a knife to separate the fruit from the pit and scoop out the flesh with a spoon.
  • You can also peel mango with a water glass or cut it around the middle then twist.

Mangos are prized for their sweet, tropical flavor, and tender, juicy texture. Whether they're used to make smoothies, desserts, fruit salads, or sauces, the bright orange fruit adds delicious flavor. But peeling and cutting a mango can be tricky thanks to its large, flat seed.

Jessica Bohlman, the National Mango Board communications manager, knows her way around a mango pit. She shared her best tips for choosing, slicing, and storing the tropical fruit.

How to pick a mango

Mangos are at the height of their season in the summertime. But, as Bohlman points out, you can find quality mangos all year long thanks to their varying growth cycles. "In the United States, most of the mangos sold are one of six varieties… so you'll likely find at least one of these varieties in your grocery store all year round," she says.

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Since mangos come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, it can be tricky to know when they're ripe simply by looking. While a bright red mango can be very enticing, it's not actually an indicator of ripeness.

Pick up the mango and see how it feels. A ripe fruit will feel heavy for its size and give slightly when squeezed, similar to a peach or avocado. And while a ripe mango is tender, sweet, and juicy, Bohlman notes that "mangos are a versatile fruit that can be eaten at all different levels of ripeness." If you're making a green mango salad, look for fruit that's still hard.

How to slice a mango

3 easy ways to cut a mango to avoid the annoying seed
Begin by slicing the lobes off of the pit.insjoy/Getty Images

While Bohlman says "there's no wrong way to cut a mango," she recommends this tried and true method. All you'll need is a sharp knife (preferably a chef's knife) and a cutting board.

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  1. Find the pit. Locate the stem at one end of the fruit. The flat seed or pit runs from the stem to the opposite end of the fruit.
  2. Cut on either side of the pit. Slice the mango all the way down about ¼ inch away from the stem on one side, leaving you with a flat semicircle of fruit - or lobe - with the peel attached. Repeat on the other side of the pit. This will remove most of the edible fruit.
  3. Slice or dice the flesh. Lay one of the portions skin-side-down and use your knife to make slices, careful to slice through the flesh and not through the skin. If you'd like diced mango, make cross-hatched cuts. Repeat with the other mango half.
  4. Scoop using a spoon. Run a spoon in between the peel and the fruit to separate the slices or cubes from the skin, already cut and ready to eat.
  5. Trim around the pit. While this method removes most of the fruit, there will still be some left attached to the pit. Don't forget to trim any remaining fruit away from the pit before discarding.

Quick tip: If you're cutting up an unripe mango, use the same process but peel the mango first using a vegetable peeler. Since the fruit is hard you won't be able to scoop it out of the peel.

How to peel a mango with a glass

A popular hack for peeling a mango involves an unconventional tool: a drinking glass.

First, slice the fruit off the pit on each side. Take one slice and position the bottom edge over the lip of a sturdy drinking glass so that the curve of the fruit lines up with the curve of the glass. Press down using your hand, allowing the edge of the glass to force itself between the fruit and the peel. The peeled fruit will simply drop into the glass.

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For a fruit that is notoriously hard to peel and chop, this hack does save time and effort. Medium to large mangos are best for this trick, since small mangos won't line up properly. Make sure to use a sturdy glass and use caution when pressing down since a weak glass could shatter. Note that while you'll end up with a couple of chunks of quickly peeled mango, there's still plenty of fruit left attached to the pit.

How to cut a mango around the middle

3 easy ways to cut a mango to avoid the annoying seed
Make a cut around the mango's center and twist it open.Mo Semsem/Getty Images

If you're looking for more interesting ways to cut a mango, you can also try cutting it across its vertical axis. This technique isn't new to fruit lovers from mango-growing countries, but it never fails to surprise the internet.

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Instead of hacking away at the pit, simply make one slice around the middle of the mango. Twist and pull apart, exposing half of the seed. Use a spoon to scoop out the fruit from the seedless side, then scoop out the fruit from around the pit on the other side. Or, if you're daring, use your teeth to rip out the seed.

This method seems to work best with small, golden mangos rather than large green or red varieties with larger pits. The mango should also be nicely ripened or it won't separate from the seed.

Quick tip: If you enjoy mango frequently it may be worth investing in a slicer. The round gadget has a couple of blades that are shaped to slice around the edge of the flat pit and cut your mango at the same time. Note that most models don't work well with extra large mangos.

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How to store sliced mango

Fresh, sliced mango should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for two to three days this way. To prevent any minor discoloration, toss the fruit with a squeeze of fresh lime juice before storing.

Mango is also great for freezing. Cut the fruit into slices or cubes and spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer for an hour or until the mango pieces are completely frozen. Place the fruit in a zip-top freezer bag and store for up to six months. Frozen mango adds sweet flavor and creaminess to smoothies and frozen cocktails. Thawed, the fruit will be a bit softer than fresh but can still be used in fruit salads or puréed for sauces and desserts.

Insider's takeaway

Mangos are trickier to slice and dice than some fruits thanks to their large, flat pits. While there are plenty of hacks out there for cutting up mangos, slicing around the pit and scooping out the fruit is the most straightforward, dependable method that works with all mango varieties.

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