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Methods & Techniques

How To Make a Cute Mango Hedgehog

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A cool way to impress your friends – and eat mango.

I first saw mangoes presented like this in the 1970’s. They were served by a very large charismatic Jamaican lady, the proprietor of Ocho Rios – a Caribbean restaurant in Covent Garden. Word got out that this was a fun place to eat. The cut mangoes were produced with great flourish at the end of meal – the enthusiasm of the staff made a lasting impression. Sadly, the restaurant has long-since gone. However, whenever I cut mango like this, I always think of Ocho Rios, and imagine I am doing my bit to keep the spirit of the institution alive.

The secret to this trick is understanding the anatomy of the fruit and the character of the flesh and skin. There is a very large flat stone which is nearly as wide as the fruit. This must be circumnavigated. Do not expect to remove the stone perfectly intact – it is very fibrous and has a tendency to hang onto the fruit.

Work as near as possible to the stone – slice into the fruit just off the center on the edge/side of the mango. Feel the knife going against the stone and work the blade around the fruit – never going past the middle. You should end up with a half of mango flesh with a slightly conical indentation. Repeat on the other side and discard the stone.

Cut perpendicular lines into the fruit 1 cm apart – cut length-ways along the fruit then across at a 90 degree angle. Try to cut as near to the skin as possible without cutting through it.

Flip the skin inside out to make the cut sections stick out. Then eat with a knife and fork, a spoon, or your fingers.

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