Kitchen Hacks

The Mango Cutting Video We Can’t Stop Watching

Mind-blowing, mesmerizing, magical.

August  9, 2019
Photo by James Ransom

Are there any foods you love but find yourself avoiding in your own kitchen due to hassle, mess, or unreliability? Granted, getting your hands dirty is par for the course in the kitchen. But some people would rather avoid the mischief, the mistakes that certain ingredients beget.

For me, that food is mangoes. Don’t get me wrong (not even for a second!), I love them. They’re sumptuous and velvety and sweet in a way that makes me feel like a kid again, but I sometimes—sometimes!—find them a bit messy. I have to be prepared when I eat a mango, you know? It's not an apple, for crying out loud. If I'm going to eat a mango, I have to lay down a cloth towel and roll up my sleeves and carve out 10 minutes for the sucker. Mangos require my attention.

But what if they didn’t? What if there were a way to cut and de-pit a mango in 10 seconds instead of 10 minutes? You’d jump, wouldn’t you?

Behold: a video making the rounds on social media this week of a disembodied hand showing a quite stunning mango (one whose skin is a sunset ombré of dusty red to bright ochre) who's the boss.

The trick appears quite simple. All one has to do is hold the mango horizontally (hotdog, not hamburger) and slice along its vertical axis. From there, it’s a simple swish and flick, à la Hermione Granger: You twist one half of the flesh around the pit and ease it off.

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Top Comment:
“My sis tried it today, and it worked! But watching the video made me cringe when he was cutting through the mango with one hand ”
— lillianstrange

The internet, as is wont to do, became incensed. Here are a few of my favorite reactions:

Even Padma Lakshmi chimed in on her Instagram: "Have you ever tried to cut a mango like this??"

Many others took pause with the purported hack:

Most mangoes—at least the varieties that are most popular in the United States—wouldn’t, couldn’t peel this way. They stick too tightly to their pit to separate that easily. Judging by the video, the effectiveness of the hack seemed more a question of varietal specificity.

We reached out to Karen B. Caplan, the President & CEO of Frieda's Specialty Produce, to see if she could identify the mango at hand. “My best guess is that this is the Nam Dok Mai variety,” she told us.

Photo by One World Thailand (Wikimedia Commons)

A Nam Dok Mai mango originated in Thailand. It’s smaller than the average American supermarket variety and tends to be sweeter, chalkier in flavor. It’s more elongated (like a chile pepper) than it is globular (like a tomato).

Nam Dok Mais are but one of many mango cultivars, however. Peep this exhaustive Wikipedia list to gauge the fruit’s many cousins, or take a look at this chart:

As for now, the exact identity of the mango and the efficacy of the hack remains in question, but we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Have you seen this mango? If so, let us know what it’s called and if this trick works in the comments below.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • fearlessem
  • lillianstrange
  • AnnaS
  • Panfusine
Valerio Farris

Written by: Valerio Farris


fearlessem August 13, 2019
Why would Food52 post this article without actually trying this out for us? I come to Food52 for real expertise, not reposts and then a "we'd love to hear your thoughts" tacked on at the end...
lillianstrange August 12, 2019
My sis tried it today, and it worked! But watching the video made me cringe when he was cutting through the mango with one hand
AnnaS August 11, 2019
My aunt used to do this successfully, but it was with the mango fruits from the tree in her back yard. I have never been able to do it myself. Donal Skeehan just put up a mango sorbet recipe. In it, he uses the old method of slicing half the fruit off the pod horizontally and then into squares while still attached to the skin. My usual next step is to then invert the fruit (so that it looks sort of like a hedgehog) and slice the cubes off. Instead, he pressed the tip onto the lip of a glass and pressed down so that the skin slid outside the glass and the cubes dropped into the glass. So easy, but it blew my mind!
Panfusine August 10, 2019
watching that video was like nails on a chalkboard.. It may barely work on an elongated ataulfo or those Thai Mangoes. you need a variety completely devoid of fibers to do that. Mango fibers tend to be quite stringy and tough and most varieties tend to be too large to effectively twist like you would a peach.
Those Thai mangoes, which can be found in Asian Grocery store IMO are perfect for another way of eating, especially when unripe -- with a sprinkle of Mexican Taijin - the way they're often sold in India, sliced thin and cut into fronds using a variety known as totapyri/Kilimooku .