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A mango splitter is a kitchen tool which is designed to extract the recalcitrant pit of a mango with a minimum of fuss and mess. Once the pit has been pulled out, the skin can be peeled or cut away, leaving the tender, sweet, juicy flesh behind. Many kitchen supply stores carry mango splitters, and they can also be ordered through specialty purveyors.
The design of a mango splitter is fairly simple. Two handles are attached to an outer ring to make the device easy to handle and use, and the inside of the ring is split in two by a blade which includes an eye-shaped hole in the middle. To use the device, people center the eye-shaped hole over the area where the pit should be, and then push the mango splitter down, causing the fruit to split into two halves while the pit pops through the hole in the middle.
Once the mango has been split, many people like to trim the flesh around the pit away, because the mango splitter tends to leave some flesh behind, depending on the size of the pit. The skin on the two mango halves will also need to be removed; depending on how ripe the fruit is, sometimes it is possible to simply peel it away by hand.
Once the flesh is exposed, it can be cut up for fruit salads and other desserts, or eaten out of hand, depending on personal taste. If the flesh is going to sit out, it is a good idea to squeeze some lemon or lime over it, to keep it from browning in the air.
The advantage to using a mango splitter is that it tends to be more tidy than using a knife. When cutting a mango by hand, it is easy to crush the flesh, creating a sticky mess and bruising the fruit, and depending on how deft one is with the knife, the level of wastage varies. Using a mango splitter reduces the risk of damage to the fruit and keeps the workspace clean, and in a situation where large numbers of mangoes need to be prepared, a mango splitter can streamline the process.
As a general rule, this kitchen tool is designed to be run through the dishwasher, making it very easy to clean; it can also, of course, be washed by hand. Be aware that mango splitters will not work on all mangoes; especially large specimens will have pits which are too large to fit through the center section.