Mango skin is edible, but it can lead to some complications. Mango tree sap and the skin of the fruit both contain the same chemical, urushiol, thatâ€™s found in poison ivy and sumac. Thereâ€™s not as much of it in mango skin, but thereâ€™s still a risk of contact dermatitis â€“ breaking out in a rash. This can even happen on the lips or inside the mouth (where itâ€™s called gingivitis, but is just as unpleasant). Thereâ€™s even the risk of anaphylactic shock, which can kill, in people who are allergic to this chemical.
But that shouldnâ€™t put you off too much: people who arenâ€™t allergic report that mango skin is delicious, and in some tropical cultures where mangoes are a regular mealtime feature, everyone eats some skin. For almost everyone, itâ€™s perfectly safe.
Mango skins can be a delicious snack and they contain a lot of dietary fibrer and nutrients, so if youâ€™re working on a healthy diet you might want to include them.
So, youâ€™re looking at your mango, with its tough, leathery skin, and wondering: how?
Well, one way is to eat the smaller, orange-yellow types of mangoes. These have a much thinner, sweeter skin than the bigger red mangoes. Another is to sun-dry your mangoes. If you live in the Great Lakes area maybe thatâ€™s not happening for you, but Californians take note: leave the skin to sun-dry in thin slices for a couple of days and you can carry them around as a snack. Itâ€™s also possible to blend or juice the skins but they are quite tough so watch out!