This persimmon relative is a much underrated fruit. It’s been said that a better name for it would be chocolate persimmon. The baseball-to-softball-sized fruits are picked hard and allowed to ripen at room temperature, a process which can take anywhere from a few days up to nearly a month. The fruit will stay green, often gaining a yellowish cast, and darken in the stem area. If it was mature when harvested, than at some point it will suddenly become very soft in the course of just a day or two. Wait until it’s so soft that pushing into it leaves a depression. It’s then easy to cut out the stem potion, cut the fruit in half, and scoop out the chocolate-colored interior, removing the small number, if any, of hard seeds near the core of the fruit.
Although some like the fruit as is, it’s vastly improved by adding a little bit of coconut milk and beating to a fluffy texture. It then lives up to the name “chocolate pudding fruit”, except tons healthier and richer flavored than the confection. Some add additional flavor enhancers, such as a bit of lime juice, vanilla, cinnamon, and so on. Find your own favorite black sapote recipe.
The trees are attractive evergreens with glossy leaves, hardy and drought-tolerant, although rather cold-sensitive. At SweetSong Groves, we have four black sapote trees: NW-C-2 (unknown variety), NE-B-3 (Wilson Seedless), NE-B-4 (Black Beauty), and NE-C-1 (Black Beauty). Watch for this excellent fruit from SweetSong.