A short trip to the tropics!

Oh, how I wish I could be traveling. It’s just part of my DNA. My grandma used to say if I heard keys jingling, I was waiting for them in the car. Didn’t matter the destination I was always ready to GO.

Okay, time to get back to the tropics and this post……………

I’ve always been a fan of the tropical fruit Mamey Sapote. I was introduced to the fruit back in the day when I was taking college kids to south Florida. Almost everyone was from another state and had no idea of the diversity of Florida’s agriculture. Three days in a 15 passenger van – me driving – with 8-12 college kids was always an exciting time. Oh the stories I could tell, but I digress. Let’s just say it was a good thing that smart phones were not readily available back then.

Prounounced mah-may sah-poh-tay, the fruit is found on branches of (usually) large evergreen trees. It is a fairly big-sized fruit, 4-6″ in diameter, about the size of a large mango.

These plants are native to Mexico and Central America but are found growing in South Florida due to the climate and established market for these fruits. The skin is tough and sand-papery with the fruit inside having texture of a baked sweet potato. It is not well known world-wide as their seeds are short-lived and not conducive to travel.

They can flower summer, fall and winter depending upon the variety grown. While that sounds kind of vague, the upside is that provides year-round harvest. From flowering to mature fruit takes 13-24 months. Grafted trees can bear fruit in 3-5 years while plants grown from seed takes closer to 7 years before bearing mature fruit. A common method of judging ripeness and maturity depends upon a small scratch on the skin surface. If the pulp inside is orange-red in color you’re good to go. Mature trees can bear 200-500 fruit per year. Below you can see the flesh and seed of the fruit.

We can locally find mamey in Lotte Market in Orlando which caters to the Asian population in Central Florida. The taste is very unique and is sometimes compared to that of apricot or raspberry. I’ve also read the flavor is a mix of sweet potato, pumpkin, honey, prune, peach, apricot, canteloupe, cherry and almond. Is there other flavor left as a descriptor? Ha! Here’s a recent purchase.

I’ve eaten this fruit in a smoothie or shake and that was the method this day. My chosen ingredients for this recipe were honey, cream, (homemade) vanilla extract with the mamey flesh at the bottom of the photo along with some skyr (icelandic yogurt).

Add in a few cherries before filling the blender with ice………..

………….and this luscious treat is formed. It’s almost, almost too pretty to drink. It was gone in a New York minute – just saying.

The mamey sapote is an interesting and dare I say exciting fruit to add in your pantry.

Wanted to throw in this last photo found on the internet from some tropical world market before closing the post. – loved it.

So. If you find this in one of your markets, go for it!!! Surprise, delight and amaze your friends with this unique tropical fruit. See which of the above fruit descriptors land on your taste buds.

Ginny

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