Latin name: Pouteria spp.
Other names: soapapple, mamey fruit, cupcake fruit, eggfruit, canistel
Uses: Fruit

What is sapote?

Though a few different fruits are called “sapote,” sapodilla, mamey sapote, and yellow sapote are the fruits in the (soapberry) family; white sapote (Casimiroa edulis) is in the citrus family and black sapote (Diospryos nigra) is a persimmon species (neither are related to the other sapotes). 

Why is sapote healthy?

Like many tropical fruits, sapote are full of vitamins, minerals (especially iron), and potent antioxidants. They’re also excellent sources of fiber, and their bright colors are a clue to their high levels of beneficial carotenoids like beta carotene. Sapote are good plant-based sources of iron.

What does sapote taste like?

Yellow sapote’s nickname “eggfruit” comes from its slightly starchy/chalky texture, which resembles a hardboiled egg yolk. Green sapote’s flesh is juicier, and mamey sapote has creamy flesh. All the sapotes are sweet and have a flavor reminiscent of sweet potato or pumpkin pie.

How do I use sapote?

Similar to an avocado, to access the sweet flesh within a sapote, you just slice it in half, pluck out the pits, and spoon out the flesh. Because of their soft texture, sapote is typically eaten raw or used in preserves, smoothies, and shakes.

What does sapote pair well with?

Like other richly flavored and creamy-textured tropical fruits, sapote’s flavor is enhanced with lime juice. It’s also a natural match for honey, burnt sugar, heavy cream, and eggs, making it a beautiful addition to flans and custard tarts. Pair it with tropical spices like vanilla, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and ginger.

Where does sapote grow?

Sapotes (including black sapote and sapodilla, which are technically different genera) are all native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Today, they’re grown in other tropical regions including Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean.

How to buy sapote:

Look for sapote in Latinx markets throughout the summer months; cold ruins the fruit, so ripen hard ones on the counter like an avocado — they’re ready when they yield to slight pressure.

Fun sapote fact:

The seeds of mamey sapote are sometimes eaten as a spice, especially in the Oaxacan chocolate beverage tejate. However, the seeds of other fruits called sapote (from the Nahuatl word tzapotl, which refers to any soft fruit) are not universally benign. The seeds of white sapote, which is in a separate plant family, has been eaten as an aphrodisiac in Central America and Asia (and verified in pharmacological studies to show promise as a therapy for sexual dysfunction). Its Nahuatl name, cochitzapotl, translates to “sleep sapote” and the fruit’s seeds have been well-established as having hypnotic and relaxing properties.