My cousin Juliana spent 6 months in Nicaragua before coming to visit us last year in Bulgaria. After a week here we went to Barcelona in May and discovered fruit riches beyond our wildest dreams at La Boqueria marketplace. We bought ripe mangos and Juliana taught my husband Brett and I how to cut mango like the Nicaraguans, using a butter knife we borrowed from our hotel breakfast buffet. (She also managed to cut an avocado for us with dental floss later in the trip. She's got skills.)
Having spent years hacking mangos into tiny flat pieces in California, I was thrilled to discover Juliana's simple technique. Now I use it to make mango salsa, mango-ginger-pear crisp, and fruit and green salads featuring the ripe slimy sweetness that is mango.
Here's the basic technique:
1. Look at your mango and choose a side down which to cut. Aim for about 1/3 in from the edge. You are hoping to make a cut straight through without hitting the giant pit.
2. Once you have your section of mango, score it with a sharp knife to create a checkerboard.
3. Put pressure on the skin side, pushing the mango section inside out. The cubes of mango will emerge, waiting to be gently sliced off by you in perfect little pieces.
That's it! Whether you eat in on a park bench in Barcelona or mixed into some favorite recipe, mango is just better when it doesn't take 30 minutes to cut apart.