Thursday, April 14, 2011

White Sapote

I saw white sapote 
at Albertson's the other day and had never heard of it before. So I bought two to try them. 
White sapote is a fruit native to eastern Mexico and Central America south to Costa Rica. 
It comes in a green skin variety with creamy white pulp, like the ones I had, or a yellow skin variety with a beige yellow pulp. The pulp has tiny yellow oil glands. 
Wikipedia describes the taste as ranging in flavor from "banana-like to peach to pear to vanilla flan" and it can have some bitterness to it. 
It has from one to six hard oval, white, seeds and can have seeds that are under-developed and very thin. 
The seeds have narcotic properties and eating the fruit can cause drowsiness. One source says it is best eaten in sections served with cream and sugar. It is not a common market fruit, even in countries to which it is native. It is used mainly for its therapeutic value and many people fear that eating too much may be harmful. It has been determined that it is not good for canning in syrup or freezing as a puree.  It was introduced to California in 1810 by Franciscan monks and is cultivated on a limited scale in the southern part of the state. Given what I have found out about it, I am surprised to have found it at Albertson's. That said, both Judy and I thought it tasted quite good. I ate one when it was still pretty hard, cutting it horizontally. The cut intersected the seeds and it took a little doing to pull the halves apart. It was soft enough to eat. I ate the other one several days later. 
It had softened (and whitened) up dramatically and was quite soft on the outside. I sliced it vertically and did not encounter any seeds. The pulp was very soft, probably softer than a ripe avocado. 
The first one had one large seed, a medium seed and a number of thin undeveloped seeds. The second one had two large sees and maybe one or two thin, undeveloped seeds. The flavor was quite a bit more pronounced in the riper fruit. It had just a tinge of bitterness, and reminded me most of cherimoya, both in consistency and taste, although not as sweet. 


  1. I bought two of these frozen from a Filippino market. Mine was more yellowish. It was pretty gross, both the flan-like texture and the fruit punch flavor... Yours look much better. I also bought some frozen whole rambutan which were pretty blah. I know you like them, so I'll hold off judgement until I try them fresh.

  2. Yeah, you can't judge either the white sapote or rambutan until you have them fresh. Especially rambutan is amazing. Even the time of year makes a difference. I was eating amazing pears earlier in the year and I've been throwing them away recently. They're not ripening well.