White Sapote

White Sapote

While shopping yesterday I came across a plum-sized green fruit called a sapote. I knew of a few different kinds of this fruit — mamey sapote, black sapote, and white sapote (none of which, it turns out, are even related) but the sticker on the fruit just said sapote so I was left to guess what kind it was. Actually, that wasn’t so hard — mamey sapote are biggish and brown , with orange flesh. Apparently they taste like “pumpkin, a combination of pumpkin, chocolate and almond, or a mixture of sweet potato, avocado, and honey.” If this is true, then they are certainly the most delicious of sapote. Black sapote are related to persimmons (a favorite of mine) and apparently taste like chocolate pudding! This little green fruit I bought must be white sapote, then.

The reason for all these unrelated sapote? It comes from a generic Aztec word for soft, sweet fruit.

The white sapote is easy to describe. The texture of its white flesh is almost exactly like that of an avocado, and its flavor is a dead ringer for that of a bosc pear (with a hint of cherimoya). It’s like eating a smooth, creamy pear. The skin is mild, slightly tart but not very flavorful, and doesn’t go with the flesh very well.

Delicious, but unique only in the flavor/texture combo. The fruit has one large seed in the middle and 3-4 small, thin, unformed seeds scattered about that I had to spit out.

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3 Responses to “White Sapote”

  1. Jean Says:

    I grew up with a huge (white) sapote tree in my grandma’s yard up the street. I have very fond memories of eating tons of sapotes in season. The trees are beautiful. Anyway, they don’t all have seeds. The seed pattern is totally irregular. The big seed isn’ t necessarily in the center when there is one. Usually there is a larger one (or two) and then some smaller ones but not always. They are best eaten when really mushy. If you let them ripen to full flavor they can get almost a liquor flavor which is really indescribable and takes them way past pear flavor. Almost to a gasoline-y quality, but good. If you buy them at the store again, let one of them get really ripe, like where the skin gets thin and papery and yellow and almost wrinkly. I love them that way.

  2. anthromes Says:

    What area of the world are you from? Did you find the fruit in a fruit/produce market, or the supermarket. If you live in a suitable climate, I would suggest germinating and growing the tree if you have any interest in doing so. The tree is very tough and has been proven to withstand both drought and cold.

    Interestingly, the white sapote (Casimiroa edulis), is in the Rutaceae family, related to citrus fruits.

    Apparently it contains over 30 mg of vitamin C per 100 g of fruit, also considered to be a good source of niacin, calcium and phosphorus. An extract from the seed can be used as a sedative, the seeds contain hypotensive and sleep inducing effects.

  3. Karen Says:

    Jean,
    Where was your grandmother’s tree? I am very interested in finding out as I have a sapote in my front yard in Hermosa Beach, in a mobile home park. I’ve had it for 25 years and suddenly my manager says I need to de-fruit it or cut it down. Not over my dead body? Thanks, Karen karenofhermosa@yahoo.com

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