It is Sapote or isn’t? I’m sure everyone who has been in Miami has experienced un Batido de Sapote (Sapote milkshake). If you haven’t, then you are missing a taste and flavor of a fruit unlike anything on the planet earth. There’s a big difference between Sapote and Mamey. I grew up eating Sapote and Mamey; never bought them, all I needed to do was climb the ladder, pick and eat on top of my Grandmother roof. I know the difference between the two fruits. And let me tell you, these fruits taste out of this world! The Sapote has softer brown skin, and its flesh is salmon-colored, with a sweet, berry-like flavor. The Mamey skin is gray-brown in color, with hard protuberances on the skin. And the flesh is orange or yellow, with a flavor something like an apricot. Mmm, mmm, delish!
The Sapote (Pouteria sapota) is a species of tree that is native to the seasonally dry forests of Mexico (including Yucatan), Belize, Guatemala and El Salvador. It has been cultivated by the native people of Central America for hundreds of years. The tree forms a large spreading canopy and the fruits are borne directly on the thick twigs and branches of the canopy and have an oval or football shape. The fruit are brown in color, and its flesh is red to salmon in color. In order to bear their fruit, Sapote trees must be mature, which they become after the age of seven years. Once the trees mature, they produce approximately 250 to 500 Sapote fruits per year. Sapote fruits are about the most confusing of all the fruits. The name is derived from the Aztec “tzapotl”, which means soft, and gives rise to a seemingly inexhaustible realm of terms for Sapote fruits, as well as for those not even remotely related. Sapote is often confused with Mammea Americana, which is commonly called Mamey in Central, South America and Abrico in the Caribbean Islands.
The flesh of the Sapote is not juicy, but has a starchy, somewhat custard-like texture with a flavor that calls to mind a sweet potato, coconut and vanilla. Due to its unique combination of flavors, it is often used as an ingredient in ice creams. Sapote has a medium amount of calories and is high in iron, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. The Sapote pit was used by the Aztecs in making chocolate drinks and is used today in Oaxaca in making tejate, the foamy cacao drink served at markets and fairs. This ancient beverage has not changed much since pre-Hispanic times, except that today it is sweet instead of chile flavored. Aside from this intriguing culinary use of the pit, it is the flesh of the Sapote that is used most frequently in Mexican kitchens. Its flavor and consistency (not too juicy, with an almost buttery texture) blend well with milk. When in season, Sapote is a popular choice for licuados and ice cream. It also makes a delicious mousse and is a good choice for using in cake, cupcake, and muffin batter. The seeds contain white semi-solid oil called sapuyulo or zapoyola, which was formerly used to fix paintings on gourds and other handicrafts. It is still used as skin tonic and hair revitalizer. Its effect in stopping loss of hair caused by seborrhea-dermatitis has been confirmed in clinical tests. The oil is therefore said to have potential in the soap industry and in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.
1 packet mango jelly powder (already sweetened)
1 packet plain agar agar powder (unsweetened)
750 ml water
200 ml low fat milk
Sugar to taste (depends on how sweet the mangoes are)
3 large mangoes, pureed
Dissolve agar agar powder in 250 ml water and set aside.
Boil remaining 500 ml water in a pot. Once water starts to boil, pour in mango jelly powder and stir. Add in the agar agar mixture and milk. Once well combined, add in the pureed mango.
Add sugar to taste and continue stirring until it begins to boil. Remove pot and pour jelly mixture into a mould. Let it cool before refrigerating.
2 cups peeled and cubed Sapote
1/3 plus 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra to taste if needed
2 – 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (I used 2 1/2)
1 3/4 cups half and half*
1 1/4 cups coconut milk
2 – 3 tablespoons of toasted coconut as garnish, optional
In a large bowl, combine the cubed Sapote with 1/3 cup of sugar. Cover and marinate overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, in a saucepan over medium-low to low heat, simmer the Sapote pieces with the sugar syrup. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove and cool.
Puree the Sapote and sugar syrup mixture in a blender or food processor. Add the lime juice and process again. Cover and chill for an hour. In a large bowl, combine the half and half and coconut milk with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the pureed Sapote, not beating but stirring gently to mix in. If you like, do a taste test and add more sugar if desired (I added 1 tablespoon). Chill in the freezer, stirring occasionally until hardened, or prepare in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. If after preparing in the ice cream maker, you find you want a firmer consistency, pack the sapote ice cream in a airtight plastic container and place in the freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving.