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Black Sapotes are round, squat fruits that look similar to a persimmon albeit a green version. The skin of a Black Sapote is initially an olive green and it will darken as it ripens and will develop the occasional black speckles. The pulp is white when unripe and turns dark brown to almost black when ripe. It has a sweet, custardy, chocolate-like flavor, which is how it got its nickname. There are somewhat large, inedible, almond-shaped seeds clustered at the center of the fruit like a pit. Typically, the fruit is purchased unripe; it can take up to ten days for it to ripen.
Black Sapotes are available in the late summer and through the winter months.
The Black Sapote, or Black persimmon in Hawaii, is widely known as the “chocolate pudding fruit.” The tropical fruit is not actually related to the sapote as the name suggests; it is instead related to the persimmon and is part of the Ebenaceae family. Botanically, they are classified as Diospyros digyna (and sometimes Diospyros obtusifolia). Black Sapotes haven’t quite achieved the same level of popularity in the United States as they have in their own native regions.
Black Sapotes are high in vitamins A and C, as well as fiber, potassium, calcium and phosphorus. They also contain trace amounts of iron.
Black Sapotes are known for their chocolate-like flavor and because of this they are typically used for dessert applications like mousse, ice cream or a filling for pies. The dark flesh can be scooped out and eaten raw; however, it is preferably sweetened and added to beverages or ice creams, cakes, and shakes. The fruit pairs well with citrus, such as oranges and lemons, the addition of which makes it a nice filling for pies. Black Sapote pulp can be mixed with milk and nutmeg for pudding, or blend with pineapple juice for a refreshing drink. Store Black Sapotes on the counter until ripe, once ripe, refrigerate for up to three days.
Black Sapotes are used in cuisines in tropical regions all over the world. In the Philippines, the tropical fruit is skinned, deseeded and the pulp is served with a topping of orange or other citrus juices and is also used for pie or pastry fillings. Mexicans mash the pulp and mix it with brandy and serve it with whipped cream for an adult dessert. In Central America, the fruit is fermented to make a liqueur similar to brandy.
Black Sapotes are native to the southern region of Mexico and can be found growing on the east coast in Jalisco and can be found all the way to the western coast in Yucatan. The fruit was believed to have come to Mexico from Spain in the late 17th century and then to the Philippines in the late 18th century. The fruit can now be found in Hawaii, Cuba, Puerto Rico and on the small island of Mauritius off the coast of Africa. Black Sapote trees can be grown in the United States, in Florida. Black Sapote doesn’t grow well in California, mainly because the temperatures are too low. The tropical winter weather is ideal for the Black Sapote, as a result it is one of the few fruits available during the winter months in sub-tropical and tropical regions.
Recipes that include Black Sapote. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Food for Thought - Miami||Black Sapote Ice Cream|
|Small Footprint Family||Dolce de Sapote Negro (beverage)|
|Tinkering with Dinner||Black Sapote Oat Bars|
|Tinkering with Dinner||Black Sapote Clafoutis|
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