Life Lessons We Never Learned In School: How to Peel a Mango
Latino blood runs a juicy, vibrant mango orange. All I know, is that everyone and their mother had at least one to twelve mango trees in their backyards in Miami. You couldn’t eat them fast enough or find a mercado that wanted to buy them from you. Latinos get creative, though, so, yes, we had mango upside down cake, mango pie, and too many mango smoothies.
Even though we had an abundance of mangos, we’re Latino and wasting food is a cardinal sin. Every non-Latino friend thinks we’re crazy, but we’re putting it in writing. This is how you peel a mango.
The strategy depends on the mango.
Here in Los Angeles, the “Champagne” mango, or more lovingly referred to as the Mexican Mango, is King. They’re more local, ripe and tasty than any other mango in this part of the country.
First, peel from the opposite end of the belly button.
I know you know what I mean. The belly button is the spot where the stem used to be. Flip it over and don’t you dare pick up a knife. You’re peeling the mango with your hands.
Then, peel all the skin off like a banana.
Some folks like to peel the skin nearly to the bottom and eat it like a banana, holding the base of the mango with the skin on it. Maybe it’s a little less messy but not nearly as fun.
This small extra step is for the perfectionists:
We all know that peeling like a monkey without a tool is more fun, but the skin isn’t going to peel all the way down to the bottom every time. Maybe this way is more satisfying for the people who like the videos of flubber being cut up a hundred different ways.
Regardless, you’ll end up with a naked, intact, juicy mango.
We’re not slicing and dicing and eating with a fork. That’s wasteful.
We’re biting into the fruit of the gods with our god given teeth.
Eating cubes of mango is the most unnatural, unsatisfying task after enjoying this spiritual experience. Latinos know.
For reference, we only do this around the inner circle.
It’s messy AF, and if you don’t need a shower by the end of your mango, you’re not doing it right. It’s carnal and it’s pure.
Then, you suck off the rest of the mango off that seed.
The degree to which there is still mango left on the seed is the ultimate judgement by your tías. You’re an ingrate if you leave any bit of morsel on the seed, and you’re given a sloppy slap on the back if you eat till it tastes bitter.
For the Miami Mango, it’s custom to absolutely not peel the mango.
First, you slice the mango twice alongside each face of the seed. You’ll be left with two halves and the seed. Then, you hold the halves like the bowl of fruit that it is and bite into it, making sure to not bite all the way through the skin. You’re basically scraping the mango out with your teeth. Every now and then you use your teeth like scissors to bite away the skin and make room to properly enjoy your mango.
Some folks like to cut cubes into the halves of the mango and then turn it inside out.
Admittedly, it does make the teeth-scraping process easier and less messy. We’re offended if you eat it with a fork though.
Other folks just slice the mango halves like apple slices.
That’s the best of both worlds. The corners of your mouth don’t get roughed up from a huge mango half rubbing against it and you get the whole juicy experience.
Regardless, this is how we eat our mangos. Punto.
Only three mangos were harmed during the creation of this culture-affirming post. We’re wide-eyed and sloppy and unapologetic about it.