What you need: OXO mango splitter

by admin on October 31, 2006 · 5 comments

For 6000 years, civilization managed just fine without OXO’s mango splitter. But for the modern population of mango lovers — it’s probably the most eaten fresh fruit in the world — the tool represents real progress.

I tend to rely on just a few kitchen tools but ones that have many applications. However, having sliced a finger open while trying to peel a mango, having accidentally dropped slippery, peeled mangoes into the trash can and having lost a significant portion of the flesh over the years to the mango’s clingy seed, I have to agree with people like Justin Park who, in his 4-star review of the splitter on Amazon, wrote: “I pay about $1.50 per mango, so losing flesh in cutting the things up is like a punch in the throat.”

Most super-specific kitchen tools offer convenience or efficiency; they may do a task better or faster, but they don’t save you money or get more out of the thing they service. For example, I love our juicer, but it doesn’t extract more juice from an orange than I can extract with my hands. But if the mango splitter, at $12, got you 10% more mango every time you used it, you could, in theory, recoup your expense after roughly 80 mangoes (and maybe save yourself a scar in the process).

It’s worth noting one unintended consequence of the mango splitter, however. Mangoes, like peaches, plums, and most other juicy fruits, have long been prime fodder for poets. If the mango splitter spreads far and wide, how will it affect future poets’ use of the fruit? Will the efficiency of the tool come at too great a literary loss? Would we lose the vision of poets like John Agard whose poem “English Girl Eats Her First Mango (a kind of love poem)” goes like this:

If I did tell she
hold this gold
of sundizzy
tonguelicking juicy
mouthwater flow
ripe with love
from the tropics

she woulda tell me
trust you to be
melodramatic

so I just say
taste this mango
and I watch she hold
the smooth cheeks
of the mango
blushing yellow
and a glow
rush to she own cheeks

and she ask me
what do I do now
just bite into it?

and I was tempted
to tell she
why not be a devil
and eat of the skin
of original sin

but she woulda tell me
trust you to be
mysterious

so I just say
it’s up to you
if you want to peel it
and I watch she feel it
as something precious

then she smile and say
looks delicious

and I tell she
don’t waste sweet words
when sweetness
in you hand

just bite it man
peel it with the teeth
that God give you

or better yet
do like me mother
used to do
and squeeze
till the flesh
turn syrup
nibble a hole
then suck the gold
like bubby
in child mouth
squeeze and tease out
every drop of spice
sounds nice
me friend tell me

and I remind she
that this ain’t
apple core
so don’t forget
the seed
suck that too
the sweetest part
the juice does run
down to you heart

More on OXO’s mango splitter at Fast Company and NPR.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous November 1, 2006 at 8:11 am

how do you pick a ripe mango?

Anonymous November 1, 2006 at 1:32 pm

On behalf of all 55 OXOnians, thank you! Wow. We’re really touched.

If anyone has any feedback on either an OXO item or another type of product we should be making to make your life easier, please feel free to get in touch with us at suggestionbox@oxo.com. We really do listen. We promise.

Chip November 2, 2006 at 10:04 am

Anonymous: As with other fruits, I tend to buy hard mangoes and then let them sit in a paper bag until they feel soft and ready. I’m not sure that this is the recommended method though.

I’ve emailed Aliza Green, the author of The Field Guide to Produce, to ask for her guidance. She’s on her way to a book tour stop in SF, but she emailed to say she’d be in touch once she landed. More soon.

Chip November 2, 2006 at 10:05 am

You’re welcome, OXOnians. And thank you for the mango splitter.

Chip November 15, 2006 at 3:55 pm

Aliza Green emailed back today with tips on picking a ripe mango.

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