TikTok Just Taught Me How to Cut a Mango Like an Avocado and I’m Still in Disbelief (It Really Works!)

published May 23, 2024
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Mango with seed in the middle.
Credit: Andrea Rivera Wawrzyn

When I was a kid, mangoes were one of the tent poles of summertime. Street vendors would start selling the fruit in its super ripe state. My sister and I would eat it outside, making a huge, sticky mess with mango juice running down our chins and all over our hands as we awkwardly tore through the peel with our fingers. Taking the mangoes inside to chop on a cutting board with an actual knife was barely any better. Getting at the sweet flesh of a mango is a trial, no matter what your approach is. Which is why, when I came across this mango hack that has you only make a single cut around the perimeter of the fruit, I had to try it immediately.

Credit: Andrea Rivera Wawrzyn

How to Skin a Mango with One Cut

  1. Cut around the pit. Use a chef’s knife to make one long cut around the perimeter of the mango, like you would if you were pitting an avocado, but instead of cutting the long way, from pole to pole, cut crosswise (or “the short way”) perpendicular to each end.
  2. Twist. Grab the mango with two hands, one on the bottom half and one on the top. Grip them firmly and twist. That’s it. With a little effort and possibly some light wiggling, the top half should come away from the bottom, exposing the pit and flesh of the mango.

My Honest Review

I’ll be honest; this hack works, but it also doesn’t work. But I wouldn’t call this a hack for cutting mango, I think it would be more accurate to call it a hack for peeling a mango. I tried this with three different mangos and got slightly different results every time. The commonality between all three, though, was that when I separated the two halves, most of the mango flesh stayed on the pit. I should note that, in the video it looks like she tried this on an ataulfo mango, which has a smaller pit than the larger Tommy Atkins mangoes that were available near me, which may explain why she seemed to have more success.

The flesh remaining on the pit isn’t necessarily a bad thing. My favorite way to eat a mango is as quickly as possible, so this created a handy way to remove the peel quickly and made a “handle” of sorts out of the bottom half to hold onto while I gnawed away at the exposed flesh on the top. 

The problems arise when you try to get the pit out of the way. I had varying degrees of trouble digging the pit out of the bottom of the mango, especially since, having removed the peel from the top half, I had nothing on top to hang on to for leverage. It got messy quickly. When I did manage to wrest the pit from the skin of the bottom half, even more of the flesh remained attached to it. I truly had simply removed the skin, which is just fine in my book.

Credit: Andrea Rivera Wawrzyn

This is all to say that the method is a little bit of a roll of the dice. You might come away with what is more or less a peeled mango, with the flesh and pit ready for however you choose to attack it, or you could wind up with something more in the middle, with some flesh on the pit, some attached to the skin in an almost bowl-made-of-fruit situation, or some combination of the two. For me, who almost never has the need for perfectly sliced or chunked mango, this works great. All I want is to get to the fruit with as little effort as possible. But if you’re looking for more predictable and neat pieces of fruit, stick with the more labor intensive, but admittedly neater, classic method.

Tips for Skinning a Mango 

  • Choose a ripe mango. If the mango is even a little bit underripe, you’re going to run into trouble with this method. Save less-than-perfectly-ripe mangoes for another day and opt for the ones that are ready to eat.
  • Don’t expect perfect results. I did this three times, while getting the top off was pretty consistent, it seems like whether you can successfully wrench the bottom half of the pit from the skin varies from fruit to fruit.