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Sapotaceae, Pouteria sapota, mamey sapote

March 3, 2008

Originating in Central America, Mamey has become common in the throughout Caribbean, Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador. It is widely cultivated in the American tropics, sold in produce markets and, to a lesser extent, supermarkets.

Historical records indicate that the Mamey served as the principal source of food for Cortez and his soldiers during their march to Honduras in 1524. The fruit was a very important food source for the Mayan and Aztec civilizations.

Depending on weather it is grown from seed or grafted, and depending on the variety, the Mamey tree can take on a variety of forms. Larger seedling varieties can grow up to 30 m tall, grafted trees can be managed at a relatively low height. The fruit is large, 10 – 20 cm long, either round or oblong with a thick, rough peel. The bright reddish pulp surrounds a large shiny seed. The photos below show an exceptionally large fruit, the largest I have ever seen.

Good Mamey varieties can be very sweet and aromatic, eaten fresh, or used in fruit drinks and ice creams. In Central America the large seed kernel is traditionally toasted and ground with cacao to make a hot beverage. Medicinal properties are attributed to both the fruit and the seed. The fruit is rich in carbohydrates, vitamin A and C, calcium and phosphorous.

mamey cross-section

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 4, 2009 10:08:10 am

    This is a great-tasting fruit! The Cubans here make shakes from it. We are hoping to grow one in our yard.

  2. March 9, 2013 10:08:42 am

    Are these known as black sapotes? They will apparently grow in Victoria (the closest Australian state to us) quite well so maybe we could attempt to grow it here. It certainly looks like a most useful fruit

    • March 9, 2013 10:08:24 pm

      No, this is known as Mamey Sapote, or simply Mamey. Black sapote is Diospyros digyna, in the Ebenaceae family, related to Persimmon, Ebony, etc. I just realized that I don’t have any photos or info on Black Sapote, which is a very interesting fruit. I will look through my photos and pull some photos out and put up a post. The outside skin of Black Sapote is bright green. Inside it is dark brown, almost black, thus the name. Native to Mexico and thereabouts.

      • March 9, 2013 10:08:04 pm

        We can apparently grow Black, and white sapote (very different species) and persimmons grow well here along with quinces (another very VERY hardy fruit). So many possibilities :). We will be planting out a lot of our small nut trees this autumn (if it ever rains again…) in the middle of 4 haybales and will be protecting them from the native animals that spend their nights grazing on our hard done by potted plants. That should keep the soil moist underneath the bales, should attract the beneficial soil insects and we can plant directly into the bales as well to add to the biomass. Once the bales are in place, a weekly water should be all that’s needed to keep our young nut trees watered over summer. Anything that minimises water use here is a great idea 🙂

  3. sheikh doha qatar permalink
    March 10, 2014 10:08:28 pm

    please…… I what this one more connate me

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