From the Archives
of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia, inc.
By Paul Andrews
Scientific name: Diospyros digyna
The black sapote is native to Mexico and sometimes called chocolate
pudding fruit or black persimmon. The tree is evergreen with attractive
dark green foliage and new growth is a pale lime green for a little
while. Fruit are generally round in shape and average about 10cm in
diameter. They can contain from 1 to 5 seeds. If you intend planting a
tree, I recommend that you obtain a known variety that does not contain
any seeds. One such variety is "Bernecker".
The fruit contains
82% water and is very low in fat and very high in calcium, phosphorus
and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). After the fruit has formed on the tree
it continues to grow under a calyx. When it has reached a full size,
the calyx will be touching the fruit. When the calyx has lifted up away
from the fruit, it is mature. It can now be picked and left to soften.
Never attempt to tree-ripen the fruit, because if you misjudge it and a
ripe fruit falls to the ground it will splatter everywhere.
fruit has softened, it should be used immediately, as if it is left one
more day, it will be too soft to handle. If not intending to use the
fruit immediately, the flesh can be scooped out of the skin and frozen
or the fruit can be frozen whole. To remove the skin later, simple let
it defrost a little, then remove the partly frozen skin with a vegie
The uses for this fruit are limited only by your
imagination. Some examples to date have been: scones, pikelets,
muffins, cakes, breads, biscuits, desserts, ice cream and drinks. A
person told me once that their partner thought that black sapote looks
like axle grease. After having tried it with a dash of rum and a
generous scoop of ice cream they cannot get enough of it now.
My favourite ways to devour black sapote are to eat it fresh, direct from the skin, and to make a black sapote thick shake.
The black sapote is indeed a nice ornamental tree and a very versatile fruit.
Reprinted from: Fruity Talk, Mackay Branch May 1996
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