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Mamey Sapote

Mamey Sapotemamey sapote cross section

Latin Name and family:

Pouteria sapote; Calocarpum mammosum; Sapotaceae (Sapote family) Originated in Central America.

Other names:

Mamey or zapote colorado in Costa Rica, also called zapote rojo and nispero.

Mamey Sapote Physical Characteristics:

Elongated fruit with tapering ends, (foot ball shaped), the mamey can be about 3-10 inches in length and 3 inches and 5 inches in width. Mamey can weigh up to 6 pounds. The skin is thin, papery or scruffy and brown and it wrinkles and loosens when fruit is ripe. It has smooth, soft and creamy flesh. The color varies a little from from a pink-red or somewhat salmon colored. The black seed (usually just 1 seed) is elliptical about 1-2 inches long. The seed often contains a little sprout when ripe.

Taste and Culinary Use:

The flesh is delicious as it is, mamey sapote has sweet, creamy, smooth, almost like caramel or pumpkin pie filling. Many people add the flesh to smoothies, sorbets, and ice cream. The kernel is boiled and roasted and used with cacao in making chocolates, making confections and mixed with other ingredients for nutritional beverages. You can get more creative. Below are a few sites with some recipes:

 Here are some recipes:

http://www.virtualherbarium.org/tropicalfruit/mamey_sapote-recipes.html

http://www.kumuainafarm.com/mamey-sapote-the-mother-of-all-fruits/

Nutrition:

Actual nutritional value will vary with variety and growing conditions. However, the following analysis closely approximates other analyses found. 100 g of fresh mamey (about 1/8 of a fruit) has 107 calories, 1.0 g protein, 0.3 g fat, 28 g carbohydrates, 1.4 g fiber, 86% water, 22 mg calcium, 14 mg phosphorus, 0.9 mg iron, 6 mg sodium, 226 mg potassium, 60 IU vitamin A, and 23 mg vitamin C.

Harvest and Storage:

Pick mamey sapote when completely mature. For example, one can tell this by scrapping/lightly puncturing the skin with fingernail. The green flesh means it’s immature, while red or pink flesh means it’s mature. Additionally, a red tint may also appear on the skin. With mamey, you can pick while firm, it then let it ripen/soften for an additional few days indoors. When kept indoors to ripen, make sure you are checking for when the mamey sapote becomes softer to touch and gives a little (like an avocado), and it starts to wrinkle just a little. If it is too soft or over ripe the fruit will start to brown or blacken (also like an avocado) and will taste a bit off. When it is frozen, mamey sapote may hold its texture well. The ripe fruit should last a few days in the refrigerator.

Health benefits:

22-49% the RDI of Vitamin C and 20% the RDI of Vitamin A (Morton, 1987). 10% the Daily Intake of Fiber (Fisheries, 2008). It was traditionally used to treat gastric ulcers and dysentery (Morton, 1987) .

Mamey sapote growth patterns:

Mamey sapote grows in low to mid elevations in Hawaii (up to 2000 feet elevation). The mamey sapote trees are evergreens. Seedling trees bear fruit in 7-10 years. Grafted plants may start bearing in 1-2 years. Mameys grow to 60-100 feet tall. Frequently, the fruit ripens year round but often peaks in the Summer. They loves hot humid tropics. It takes two years from when it flowers until the fruit is ripe. Mature trees may bear 200 to 600 fruit per year.

Most commercial growers say that pruning is important because the mamey sapote is a vigorous tree and pruning helps contain possible tree damage and to ease the harvest. Generally, it’s a good idea to fertilize the tree a few times a year. However, if given a good start, frequent enough watering and some mulch the tree will be likely to still bear a large amount of fruit. Some common cultivars of mamey sapote are Pantin, Florida and Magana.

Pests: Specific pest problems may occur in some locations, but the mamey is generally regarded as having few problems.

Toxins: The white latex is an irritant.

Resources:

  1. Permacopia Book II. D. Hunter Beyer Dr. Franklin Martin.
  2. Hawaiian Organic growing Guide, Shunyam Nirav. (1992)Oasis Maui /inc.
  3. Miami Culinary Tours http://www.miamiculinarytours.com/mamey-sapote/#sthash.eAELzd5k.KujiA2sm.dpbs
  4. http://www.virtualherbarium.org/tropicalfruit/mamey_sapote-recipes.html
  5. http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_mamey_sapote.htm
  6. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg331
  7. http://www.rarefruitclub.org.au/Level2/Mamey.htm
  8. https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/sapote_ars.html
  9. http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_mamey_sapote.htm
  10. http://www.tfgsf.com/?page_id=556
  11. https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/sapote_ars.html
  12. http://www.fairchildgarden.org/news-pressroom-media-center/articles/artmid/515/articleid/647
  13. http://www.kumuainafarm.com/mamey-sapote-the-mother-of-all-fruits/
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