So much of your life is impossible to give order to. A mango is not one of those things. It may seem like one, big gooey lump that it is, but it is not. It can be given perfect geometric clarity with just a few tactical blade strokes. I can’t recommend solving many of your other problems this way, but it does work for the mango.
If you’ve gone in blind before, you might understand why this this process is difficult. The mango is a handful of gold with two problems: the huge ovoid pit at its center, and the rubbery bitter skin. What’s in between is sweet-tangy bliss—so long as you can get at it cleanly and efficiently. Bite right in, and you’re met instantly with the flavor of galoshes. Slice right in at random, and thanks to the obstacles posed by the hidden stone inside, you may well end up with a pulpy autopsy scene. What I’m about to propose is far from the only way to cut a mango, and maybe not even the fastest, but easily the most gratifying: hedgehog the thing.
Huddle up over this fruit for a brief note on strategy. You’re locating an unseen enemy—the pit—in a lump of deliciousness. So your goal here is to locate that enemy and carve off of it as much flesh off it as possible, with minimal losses. Then your goal is to render that flesh into as snackable a configuration as possible. Let’s begin.
Find the place where the stem once met the fruit. The flattish pit will basically lie along the same plane as this little nub, offering an important clue as you enter the unknown. So push your knife into the fruit, just off-center from the nub, slowly, while easing the blade towards the center of the fruit, until you feel some pushback.
That’s the pit. That is the adversary. Get your blade flush against the pit’s surface and then just slide right along it, skimming off as much meat as you can, until, lo, you’ve lopped off a nice oval surface. Now take your knife and repeat this process on the other flat side of the pit. Wow now there’s two ovals. Use the tip of your knife to cross-hatch them, aiming for whatever grid or sizing pleases you, being just careful enough not to pierce the skin and ruin the grand reveal, which would be disrespectful to everyone involved and to the mango itself.
Take the scored chunk in your hands and push out with your thumbs to invert the skin. I don’t know you but I feel comfortable guessing that this will be the most satisfying part of your month, or year.
You are now the proud owner of many excellently sized niblets which can be eaten clean off the skin, or, if you’re unlucky enough to be sharing, knocked into a bowl, where they can also fit into grander schemes, like a fruit salad or a salsa or whatever. Aside from the two hedgehogs, you’re also left with a pit that is (ideally) bare on the flat sides but with a small ring of flesh around it, which you are welcome to just gnaw off with your face. Congratulations.