The White Sapote, Casimiroa edulus, is one of those wondrous fruits that has its share of ups and downs! It is a rare and unusual fruit, and is a member of the Rutaceae family, which also includes the familiar citrus. White Sapote trees are vigorous and beautiful, growing between 15 and 40 feet tall with glossy green palmate leaves. The fruit is usually about the size of a tennis ball, and is sweet, custardy, with hints of banana, vanilla, or peach. There is significant variability in flavor between the varieties. It is recommended to cultivate grafted trees as seedlings can vary from parent tree.
Sapote is generally used to describe a soft fruit and is derived from the Aztec tzapotl. The Black Sapote (What’s in Season March 2017) is actually in the Persimmon family, and Sapodilla, or Chico Sapote (What’s in Season January 2017) is in the true Sapotaceae family.
White Sapote trees can generally be grown anywhere citrus is cultivated. The fruit should be cut from the tree and allowed to ripen for a few days. In fact, this is a fruit that should be allowed to ripen to a very soft touch for best flavor. It can be eaten out of your hand, or scoop the flesh into a bowl, drizzle with fresh cream and a little honey for a custardy treat.
We have several varieties here at the Fruit & Spice Park, so please visit and try them all to find your favorite. While you are here you may also find:
- Sapodilla, Manilkara zapota
- Mamey Sapote – Pouteria sapota
- Candle fruit – Parmentiera cereifera
- Gamboge – Garcinia tinctoria