Sunday, August 14, 2011

My First Sapote

I tried my first sapote today, a Mamey Sapote that is. I understand there are different types of sapote but our market had the Mamey and I have really been wanting to taste one. If eaten raw they will contain:
A serving size of 1 fruit without refuse of raw mamey sapote contains 691.92 calories and has 8.091 grams of protein, 112.3812 grams of sugar, 2.5668 grams of fat, 30.132 grams of fiber and 0 milligrams of cholesterol. Raw Mamey Sapote contains the following vitamins and minerals: Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Iron, Phosphorus, Manganese, Copper and Sodium.

How to choose Mamey Sapote: Mamey is hard when unripe and becomes softer as it ripens. Press it till the skin collapses to know it is ready to eat. Mamey will not taste good unless it is ripe!
Climate and origin: Mamey is a tropical fruit grown mainly in South America, the Bahamas, and Florida.
Taste: Mamey is moderately sweet, flowery and creamy. It has flavor of carrot, sweet potato, and the texture of an avocado but not as slimy. Excellent taste!

 I found mine at our local Publix grocery store. I chose one that was still fairly hard, knowing I was going to allow it to ripen at home. It ripened in just two days. Once it feels slightly soft while gently pressing on it, it is ripe.
While at the store you can do a "scratch test" to determine if the sapote was picked at the proper time. Near the bottom, more pointed end use your fingernail to gently scrape away a small portion of the brown skin. If it looks deep orange in color it was picked at its peak!
"Scratch Test"

 I cut it open just like an avocado. Scooped the seed out with a spoon and I tasted it right out of the skin. You can eat it this way with a spoon or turn it into an amazing pudding like I did.(recipe below)


Large, Black Seed

 I saved the seed hoping to grow a tree but I don't know if I can wait seven years for it to bear fruit!! I found this great article on growing sapote in Florida.

Mamey Sapote Growing in the Florida Home Landscape1

Carlos F. Balerdi, Jonathan H. Crane, and Ian Maguire2
  • Scientific name: Pouteria sapota (Jacq.) H.E. Moore & Stearn
  • Other common names: sapote, mamey colorado
  • Synonyms: Calocarpum sapota (Jacq.) Merr., Calocarpum mammosum (L.) Pierre
  • Family: Sapotaceae
  • Relatives in same family: sapodilla, satin leaf, caimito, canistel, abiu, green sapote.
  • Origin: Mexico and the Central American lowlands
  • Distribution: Mamey sapotes ( Plate 1 ) have been grown or cultivated in Central America, Mexico, northern South America, and the West Indies for centuries. The first recorded introduction into southern Florida was during the mid-1880s.
Importance: The mamey sapote is an important fruit in Miami-Dade, Florida (US), Mexico, Central America, and in the West Indies--including the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. In the state of Florida, Cuban Americans and Central Americans have helped to establish a small but viable industry. Except for the Americas, this very attractive and excellent fruit is not well-known, probably because its short-lived seeds may have discouraged intercontinental transport in colonial times. Recently, there is increasing interest in this fruit in other countries (e.g., Australia, Israel, Philippines, Vietnam, Spain, Venezuela).

Description

Tree

The mamey sapote grows into an open tree with a thick central trunk and a few large limbs. Mamey sapote trees are large, erect to spreading trees which may grow to a height of about 40 feet (12.2 m) in Florida and may exceed 60 feet (18.3 m) in more tropical regions.

Leaves

The leaves are large, up to 12 inches (30.5 cm) long and 4 inches (10.2 cm) wide, simple, and obovate to oblanceolate in shape. The underside is lighter green or brownish and pubescent (hairy) when young but becomes glabrous (smooth) when mature. The leaves are clustered at the ends of the small branches. Depending on the cultivar (variety) and recent crop load, trees will drop most of the leaves in late winter or spring, but develop new leaves rapidly.

Flowers

The small, perfect, whitish, almost sessile flowers are produced abundantly along small branches (1/2 to 2 inches; 1.3 to 5.1 cm), and tend to cluster towards the ends of the stems.

Fruit

The fruit is a berry, ovoid to ellipsoid in shape, with a persistent calyx at the base. Most vary from 3 to 8 inches (7.6 to 20.3 cm) in length. The skin is thick and woody with a russet brown, somewhat scurfy surface. The pulp of mature fruits is salmon pink, orange, red or reddish-brown in color, soft and smooth to finely granular in texture, usually low in fiber. The pulp has a sweet, almond-like, unique flavor. Normally, the fruit contains a single, large, elliptical seed but it may have up to four. The seed has a shiny, hard, dark brown surface with a light brown scar (hilum) on the ventral side. Seeds may crack and sprout in overmature fruits. Fruit weight ranges from 0.75 to 6.0 lb (0.3-2.7 kg).

Season

In Florida, the bloom season may be in summer, fall, and winter depending on the cultivar (variety). Because of this, each cultivar has its own main maturity season ( Table 1 ). For example, 'Pantin' matures most of its crop in July and August with some fruit maturing before or after these months. 'Magana', on the other hand, matures its fruit in March and April with some fruit maturing before or after these months. Other cultivars will mature fruit in the winter, thus allowing for year-round harvest. Trees may have flowers, immature fruit and mature fruit all at the same time. It takes from 13 to 24 months from flowering to fruit maturity.

Production

Seedling trees begin to bear fruit after 7 years or longer. Grafted trees begin to bear in 3 to 5 years. Mamey sapotes are very prolific. Mature trees may bear 200 to 500 fruit per year. Twice this amount may be obtained from large trees.

Varieties

The sapote has been widely propagated by seeds in the countries of its origin. There is great variation in seedling tree fruit shape, size, and pulp quality and color. Some seedling trees produce high quality fruit, and from these, superior types have been selected which are vegetatively propagated as named cultivars (Table 1).
In Florida, 'Pantin' accounts for the largest acreage, while 'Magana' is the next in importance. These two cultivars make up 95-98% of the acreage. Table 1 shows the characteristics of cultivars found in Florida. Different cultivars produce at different times of the year and planting of three to four cultivars may suffice to have mature fruit year-round (e.g., 'Tazumal', 'Pace', 'Magana', and 'Pantin').

Climate and Soils

The mamey sapote is a tropical tree which tolerates warm subtropical conditions, and is not tolerant of freezing temperatures (Figure 1). Young trees are very vulnerable to cold and are injured at air temperatures below 32°F (0°C). Mature trees can withstand 28°F (-2.2°C) for several hours with only slight damage but are killed if the temperature goes down below 22°F (-5.6°C) for very long.
The mamey sapote grows well in a wide variety of well-drained soils, from heavy clays to the limestone and sandy soils of Florida. Mamey sapote are intolerant of constantly wet or flooded soil conditions. The wet soil conditions decrease the oxygen content in the soil, causing roots to die which weakens the tree. In addition, weakened roots are more susceptible to attack by root rotting fungi (e.g., Pythium spp.).


Raw Sapote Pudding
by Elizabeth @ rawlivingandlearning.blogspot.com

1 medium mamey sapote
2 small organic bananas
1 T chia seeds
1 T hemp seeds
Scoop the flesh out of the sapote skin and place in a small food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process smooth. Will thicken in about 15 minutes or less. Enjoy!


Recap
How to choose Mamey Sapote: Mamey is hard when unripe and becomes softer as it ripens. Press it till the skin collapses to know it is ready to eat. Mamey will not taste good unless it is ripe!
Climate and origin: Mamey is a tropical fruit grown mainly in South America, the Bahamas, and Florida.
Taste: Mamey is moderately sweet, flowery and creamy. It has flavor of carrot, sweet potato, and the texture of an avocado but not as slimy. Excellent taste!
Nutritional Value:
 Serving Size: 100g (1/8 of 8” fruit), Calories: 51, Protein: .5g, Fat: .5g,
Carbohydrates: 13g, Fiber: 3g, Potassium: 47mg, Vitamin A: 230 IU, Vitamin C: 14mg

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for tropical fruits. Being able to enjoy the unique produce down here makes the intense heat almost bearable :)

3 comments:

Mr. H. said...

There you go again, introducing me to another wonderful fruit I had never heard of. The fruits do look very similar to an avocado and your puddin gsounds delicious.

kelli said...

interesting! thanks for sharing!

Cynthia said...

Oooo! Looks interesting. I've never heard of it, I would love to try the fruit but the pudding no way. Anything pudding like creeps me out!

Up until last week its been just as hot here as it is there! No one can escape it. Even my parents had to turn on their air. But right now we have our air off its about 77 out and beautiful! Kind of like your winter. Take care Cynthia