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How to Choose, Prepare and Drink Mango

First you want to pick mangoes that are firm, but give a little when you squeeze them. Too soft and they turn to mush, too firm and they are too hard and not quite ripe. If all that is available is the harder mangoes, you can put them in a brown paper bag with a banana for a while to speed their ripening.

Mangoes have a stone in their center, and that's what makes them tricky to cut up. The stone is a flat oval, so you will find your mangoes are narrower one way than the other in alignment with the stone.

Wash them and take the stickers off.

Begin by turning the mango up on this skinny side. You then cut off the "cheek" of the mango, as close to the stone as possible. If you hit the stone, you can usually just swerve around it a little.

Then cut off the other cheek.

Now take a cheek and slice the meat of the fruit all the way down to the skin, but not through it. Be careful of your hand! The skin is pretty thick, and it's not likely you'll cut yourself.

Now cut it the other way to make a grid.

Do the same with the other cheek. You see a little of the stone there on the center piece. I got very close on that one!

Now flip the cheek inside out so that the fruit now splays out in "cubes."

You can now peel the fruit off. Do this over whatever you put the fruit into, as it is likely to drip if your mango is juicy. If your mango is too ripe, at this stage you won't be able to peel off chunks, but rather you will find yourself squeezing off mush.

One cheek done and one to go.

I put both cheek's fruit in the blender here. You can see the neat chunks that you can use in your salad or chutney or whatever.

Next peel the skin off the center piece with the stone. Peel it all the way around and leave no skin on the edge.

You'll have this disk left with the stem and a little skin around the stem.

Slice into the fruit down to the stone along the side every inch or so. This way, you know just how far down the stone is. Work the blade from side to side on the stone so you can tell if it's more to the left or right.

Then you can easily slice off the remaining chunks of fruit without hitting the stone.

There is still a bit of good fruit here on the side after taking the fruit off the edge. You can carve it off here too if you want.

Now you have all the fruit off the mango that you can use.

For my drink recipe, you want to puree the mango. It may be difficult with just the fruit in there, so it's best to add a jigger or two of white rum to make it liquefy better and blend quicker and easier. Just remember how much you add. A jigger is 1 1/2 ounces, so, when it comes time to mix the drink, remember if you put two jiggers in, you have 3 ounces of extra liquid that is not mango.

The Mango Daiquiri recipe is:

A cup of mango puree is 4 drinks. Add all ingredients except ice and blend. Then add ice until the mix has a fairly thick consistency. This may take a lot of ice and a stout blender! I use a vintage Oster chrome beehive style. You can also add other fruits to the mix like strawberry, pineapple, peach or banana. But be very careful with banana. A little goes a long way. It can easily overpower the taste. Just mix the fruits first and keep the mango as the most abundant fruit. Try it with a little choclate syrup too! Make the drink with 2 ounces of your mix as usual.

You can store the mix in the fridge for several days, and even in the freezer.