It was an innocent Monday afternoon and I placed my latest prize on the table. I cut in to the one that looked the closest to perfect: a slight give in the skin, no obvious bruising, heavy flesh.
It was a gorgeous orange and I ran my spoon in to the soft flesh as it gave easily. Pausing briefly to take in the yeasty aroma, I tucked a small bite in to my mouth. It softened on my tongue and the texture quickly changed to a powdery substance. Suddenly my lips were smacking like a dog who had eaten peanut butter. The mumbling and cussing began, “What the? Did someone just swap out my mamey sapote for a poisoned cotton ball?”
I headed directly to Google noting this was not the first time I’ve come close to being poisoned from my fruit ventures. My lips and tongue were still smacking. The tannic coating was everywhere. This could not be right…
Luckily, the internet delivered, as it often does, with information that would have been useful prior to me shoving the fruit in my mouth. Apparently this one, with its gorgeous orange flesh wasn’t quite ripe. The skin should be a slightly deeper color, closer to red and the texture on the outside should give very easily when pressed. Luckily I had another one and while the flavor here was quite good, the texture was a mix of perfectly soft pudding and cooking string. I think this one was a day too late. I ate a few bites and then scooped the rest to freeze for a milkshake. I only had access to two of these and they were a generous gift from my friends at Specialty Produce, so I don’t blame the fruit at all for my failures. If you can get your hands on one, my advice would be to get some insight from whoever is selling or giving it to you on when to eat it because the flavor is very promising.
Brown sand paper, leathery pod, about the size of an average man’s full hand. Orange/red, salmon flesh with a large, shiny brown seed.
Strong sweet potato and yeast combo. Slightly sweet. Neither good nor bad.
Soft texture. Dense and smooth in some spots, stringy in others (like a mediocre avocado). Slippery in your mouth.
Cooked sweet pumpkin or sweet potato with a nutty undertone.
OVERALL Overall Rating:
While this first foray in to the world of the mamey sapote was a bit dicey, I would definitely look for more of these. I adore pumpkin and sweet potato and pudding so somewhere in here there is bound to be a favorite fruit. I just know it.
Mamey Sapote is the national fruit of Cuba, which leads me to wonder about the national fruit of the United States. Apparently we don’t have one. WHAT a travesty! Why aren’t fruit growers canvasing the streets? Why aren’t our presidential hopefuls talking about this grave absence? Where is the dignity?