Subtropical delights: Sapotes

We had our first ripe yellow sapote yesterday.

The fruit was a tad astringent, but good nonetheless. Yellow sapotes, also called canistel or eggfruit, are not juicy. Their best use is to thicken and flavor smoothies, but it is hard to make a smoothy with one little fruit (I forget to photograph the fruit before eating it, but see the above link!). So I mashed it in a bowl with a little milk and nutmeg for a tasty treat. Look very closely at the photo (or its larger version that you can see by clicking on it) and you can see that the tree is loaded with flower buds!

The tree is currently in a large pot in front of F&V HQ. On the right of the photo is another sapote, the Mamey (a favorite of mine from past fruit exploration in southern Florida and South America). It’s the tree with the arching candelabra style branches. To the left is the green sapote.

Growing subtropicals in pots till they develop a good root system is recommended, given the marginality of our climate. That way, when they reach ground, they are somewhat more mature than the 5-gallon size at which they were purchased. The pots also allow one to undertake the back-breaking but plant-saving practice of bringing them into the garage when frost is expected.

Soon, these trees will be planted–up high in Ladera Frutal’s subtropical block, where frost is unlikely and on the eastern slope to minimize exposure to ocean wind. (Can’t do much about those drying Santa Anas, other than water intensively when they are blowing, but luckily the terrain here does not favor the extreme Santa Anas of other nearby locations.)

The fruits are not all that is (sub)tropical these days. We are currently having a very rare (especially for June) ‘Monsoonal’ flow, for humid weather, variable high clouds, and even a nearby thunderstorm yesterday morning. Today the temperature was 33 (Celsius, obviously) before noon. Very odd, but a welcome respite from the usual June gloom.

The Latin names for these fruits are:

    Yellow sapote–Pouteria campechiana
    Green sapote–Pouteria virdis
    Mamey sapote–Pouteria sapota

(There are lots of sweet tropical fruits from the Americas called ‘sapote’ and many of them are unrelated; these three happen to be from the same genus)

0 thoughts on “Subtropical delights: Sapotes

  1. Pingback: Fruits and Votes

  2. Pingback: Fruits and Votes

  3. Hello,
    read with interest your article on yellow,green(mayan) and mamey sapotes.I am a grower in nth Queensland,Australia,and have good succes with seedling trees.I feel there is a lot to be gained by large scale plantings of seedlings,especially y.sapote and mamey sapote..The green(we call them mayan sapote here) is definately a tree suited to elevated areas.Seedlings are usually at least asgood as parent with intersting variations in flavour,size ,fruiting season(about 80% are good)Definately undervalued !!

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