Mango Peels, Good Eatin'

Clearly my mango preferences are unique. I am the only one who eats mango peels. First, to all the non-mango eaters – start eating mangoes! They are delicious and nutricious (especially the peels).

So, my first question is where did I pick up such a habit. I’ve eaten mangoes in front of others on a number of occasions. No one has ever corrected my faux pass. “Don’t eat the peel, foo’!”

Furthermore, the peel is actually quite good. I can see why people don’t regularly eat orange peels. Have you ever bitten into an orange peel? It is a bitter peel to swallow. And so, human instinct tells you – EW!, don’t eat that bitter peel. But I have never had such a primal aversion to mango peels.

On the contrary, I would compare mango peels to apple peels. They are crisp and part of the overall mango eating experience. (Which is not dissimilar to the Jimi Hendrix Experience.) I know there are people who prefer not to eat apple peels as well, but not nearly in the majority that you all agreed not to eat mango peels. We can all agree that eating apple peels are an accepted practice in the culinary world.

All this then begs the question: Why not eat mango peels? Is there a medical reason; perhaps mango peels cause liver damage? Is there an environmental theory; perhaps mango peels are especially adept at retaining harmful pesticides and toxins?

Here’s what I think. I believe when the first European was given a mango to eat by his Asian friend, he didn’t eat the peel. An honest mistake. It was a new food and there is always uncertainty as to what is food and what is presentation. (Remember when Bush, Sr. ate the corn husk on his tamale?) Asians, being the polite people that they are, and fearing the mass enslavement of his race as Europeans are want to do to others, did not correct the European’s oversight of the eating of the peel. And so this “European style” of eating mangoes was born and perpetuated through the whole of Europe and later over to the new world.

And now Lordleiter is an eating pioneer starting an eating revolution. You laugh now, but 20, 30 years from now when we are all eating mango peels, you will spin yarns to your grandkids about how there was a time when people didn’t eat mango peels. (Your grandkids will giggle at this part of the story, because of how ludicrous it is for you suggest that people didn’t eat mango peels?)

And then your gaze will move from your grandkids’ eyes and instead focus off to the distance, to some far off place. Almost like you have a window into the glorious past. And then you will tell your grandkids about Lordleiter – the man who pioneered mango peel eating. And you will tell them about how you actually met him once, right before he set off criss-crossing the country planting mango seeds and spreading goodwill…


  1. Taube on 27 January 2006 at 1:28 am

    My wife (who happens to be a pacific islander, not european) does not eat the mango skin, and I believe it was her who told you you were ridiculous for eating them in the first place. All this hub-bub about the europeans eating them in such a style is cods-wallop if you ask me. You’re just trying to make your fruity incompetence sound much more deluxe than it CLEARLY is. Now cut off that mango peel like everyone else in the world.


  2. Anastasia Beaverhausen on 28 January 2006 at 7:16 am

    I prefer pears, and Miranda likes to hear me eat them.

  3. Jeremy on 17 February 2006 at 7:37 am

    I ate the mango peel once, perhaps shouldn’t have done so as it was un-ripe and got the mean as shits. But upon closer inspection and ingestion of a much riper one the above effects didn’t even happen. Lesson learnt one might say. In fact, the peel wasn’t so bad. 🙂

  4. Paul on 2 June 2009 at 5:18 pm

    Peels are rich in lupeol, mangiferin, anthocyanins, carotenoids and dietary fiber — all potentially beneficial for human health. So why not eat the peel?

    If the fruit is washed to minimize pesticides and urushiol, then the peel is a potential health benefit. It probably varies by cultivar, but the milder mangoes — like Ataulfo and Alphonso — have easy to eat, actually delicious peels that add texture to the fruit eating experience.

  5. Lordleiter on 2 June 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Yeah! What Paul said.

  6. Twoods on 11 June 2009 at 10:33 pm

    I just had a small amount of peel in my mouth – but I immediately reacted to it and had to spit it out – then go use my asthma mediations – because I couldn’t stop coughing. I’ve decided that, toxins or not — I am among those who are at least “sensitive” to the peel – if not outright allergic.


  7. Max von Fischgeist on 16 June 2009 at 7:17 pm

    I prefer to avoid the issue altogether by converting mangoes into hand bells and filling the world with peals of musical rapture rather than divisive arguments. Also, I remain skeptical about Lordleiter’s legacy in 20-30 years being largely mango based. In 20-30 years, we will be made of space age polymers and sustained not by produce, but by whimsical rays of color emitting from self propelled “crystals” flitting about wherever our plastic eyes may dart. (“Crystals” is in quotes because that’s what we will call them, but they will not NOT be crystalline.)

  8. Indian girl on 29 December 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Many people i know eat the mango peel. But i think it depends on the type, some taste nice, some don’t. Mango pickle/atchar is very common in the indian culture-Mangos are sliced with peel and seed only the middle of seed is thrown away. Then pickled in oil, vinegar and crushed chilli spice. Tastes good with curry, eaten peel and all. Some people even chew on the hard seed cover.

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