The best way to eat a mango, warm, ripe and juicy as it is, is outside near a body of water, hose or sprinkler, which ever is most appropriate for your locale. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Before you can actually eat your mango, you must peel it, and believe it or not there is a proper way to peel it. In order to protect the fruit, the sap of the mango tree drips down from the stem end of the fruit to cover it. Now, if you peel the mango towards the tip from the stem end, or worse, if you are peeling it using your teeth and bite near the stem end to create a hole, the sap will get on the fruit and make your lips swell and sting. Not the ideal mango eating experience. So peel your mango towards the stem end, and avoid that problem.

Now, your mango will be very juicy, so be prepared. Avoid white shirts as you would in italian restaurants - mangoes make orangey splotches. On the other hand, don't worry about getting juice on your skin. Not only will you smell, well, edible, but the fruit acids in mangoes are good for your skin. Now you can either eat your mango with a knife, and cut it into smaller pieces, or you can simply dig in sans utensils. Either way another caution: the closer you get to the flat pit, the stringier the flesh will get and the more likely it is it will stick between your teeth. Once this happens, it is concievable that no amount of flossing will remove it. Exercise care.

So now that you are eating your mango, smile. It seems a little nicer out now, doesn't it? Imagine what it was like for the first explorers from Europe to discover these kinds of tropical bounties after weeks and months at sea. Had it been me, I would have been loath to wash the sweet juice from my skin and would instead have savored it, the sunshine, and the feel of earth beneath my feet. When you are finished indulging, dip into the water, run through the sprinkler, what have you.

Your mango is done.

P.S. Despite any passions you may develop for the mango, I do not recommend eating them above either your computer or your cat, no matter how good it tastes after the first bite. Trust me. It makes them both sticky and annoyed.

Alternatively, you can use a knife to slice it up.

Hold the mango so that the seed (stone) inside is horizontal, and now you can chop of everything above it, in one horizontal cut, and everything below the stone in one horizontal cut.

Now, you should have two pieces sliced away from the stone - now cut into these slices from the open end, almost to the skin, forming a grid pattern.

Now invert the sliced piece, and you can neatly bite off the little cubes - not only is this fun, but you can even use it to impress members of the opposite sex, small children, and probably any handy aliens as well.

Yet again alternatively, you can slice the mango in half longways. pulling the halves apart can be a bit tricky, twisting may be necessary to separate the two halves. this, if the mango is ripe, will result in a waterfall of mango juice, so it is best to do this over a sink. one half will wind up with the stone embedded in it which can be removed with a spoon. then, using the spoon, you can scoop out and eat the mango "meat", similar to how one might eat a cantelope. i prefer this method as it helps keep the hands from getting too terribly sticky from the wonderful mango juice.

Joyously, in sunlight

This has been my first official Very Short Writeup. Just a reminder, really.

In my hood, mangos are served peeled and stuck on a wooden stick - by the same street vendors who supply the ever coveted paletas and mayonnaise-slathered elotes.

They squeeze lime juice all over the mango and cover it with salt. This combination of incredibly sweet and tangy flavors with the salt makes for a truly delicious treat. There is simply no way to avoid getting strands of mango in your teeth, it is best to accept them and deal with them once you are finished eating.

Also: when starting out with a fresh mango, it is not always necessary to skin it before eating. It can be sliced with the skin still on, then the sweet orange flesh of the fruit can be removed by grinding the slices through your teeth in a way similar to how many people enjoy the individual leaves of an artichoke.

This is how I learned how to eat a mango. In '95 and '96 I spent the summer in Guatemala. The Guatemalans are VERY adept mango eaters, even before they had the metal skewer/peeler method.

They take the fresh mango and roll it around in their hands until the fruit is soft. This frees much of the juice from the meat inside. they then bite a small hole (1/2 - 3/4" or so) out of the fruit with their teeth and squeeze the juice from out of this hole into your mouth. Then when all of the squeezable juice is extracted (most of which is in your belly and not on your face or hands) the meat is peeled piece by piece and scraped along the teeth to get it off. Then they gnaw and scrape on the inner pit until all of the juice and sweet fruit is extracted.

But I like to eat the skin, as it gives a nice sour/bitter contrast to the sweet fruit and it isn't all that bad, and it has a TON of fiber in it which is pretty good for ya anyhow.

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