The Black Sapote is a round, squat fruit that looks like a persimmon, but colored green. The “black” part comes from the fleshy pulp that turns black when it is ready to eat and ripe. This fruit is prized for its chocolate-like flavor and is often used for applications that call for chocolate. These aren’t as popular in the United States as they have in regions where they are natively grown. Black sapotes should not be confused with black persimmons or what’s commonly known as Texas Persimmons.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Order: Ericales
- Family: Ebenaceae
- Genus: Diospyros
- Species: D. nigra
- Binomial name: Diospyros nigra.
Black Sapote Trivia
- Black Sapotes are not sapotes but is a specie of persimmon.
- They are often called “The chocolate fruit” or “The chocolate pudding fruit.”
- It tastes like chocolate, but without the caffeine or calories
Black Sapote Buying Guide
The Black Sapote looks like a green persimmon. Black sapotes are very firm when unripe, and you must take note that unripe black sapotes are inedible. The way to determine if the black sapote is ready to eat is when the skin has turned into a dark color, and when you press on the surface, it leaves indentations. In short, it should be squishy, but not too much. It may look like rotten fruit by the time it gets to the edible stage, but don’t worry, that’s normal.
Black Sapote Production & Farming in Texas
Black Sapote doesn’t survive in Texas, so there are no known commercial farming operations for Black Sapote in Texas.
Black Sapote has only been successfully grown in two places in the United States: Hawaii and Florida. It is also grown in the Southern part of Mexico and is sometimes found in markets that specialize in goods from Mexico.
There are no records of Black Sapote being tested for pesticide residue as they are not commercially available in supermarket chains. If you see black sapotes in your local farmers’ markets, ask if they’re organic. If not, then standard practice applies, wash thoroughly before consuming.
Black sapotes are native to the southern region of Mexico and many other tropical and sub-tropical countries. Tropical winter weather is ideal for the Black Sapote fruit. This is why this is one of the few fruits that are available during the wintertime from tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world.
Black sapotes are picked mature but not ripe from the tree. Ripe black sapote tends to fall off the branch and break on the ground.
Enjoying Black Sapotes
You can open a Black Sapote like you would open an avocado. Use the knife to slice the fruit crosswise until you hit the pits in the middle. Rotate the blade to make a continuous cut around the pits and then twist to open.
The black flesh can be consumed raw along with the skin.
Black sapotes can be left on the countertop for a few days to ripen. Once ripe, they can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. Never store unripe black sapotes in the refrigerator or freezer as this will disturb the ripening process and cause your fruit to skip the ripening stage and go directly to the rotten stage.
Black sapotes are used in a number of cuisines around the world. In the Philippines, the pulp is topped with citrus-based juices or used as pie or pastry filling. In Mexico, the dark pulp is mixed with brandy and whipped cream to make an adult dessert. In other places, the meat is fermented to make a Black sapote brandy.
Black Sapote can also be used as a substitute for chocolate in cakes, brownies, ice cream, and beverages.
- While a 100g serving of black sapote contains 18.9g of carbs, it is worthwhile to note that only a fraction of this is sugar, and the bulk of the carbs are in the form of dietary fiber
- The carbs in Black Sapote are complex carbohydrates, giving you the “full” feeling a lot longer since it takes your body a lot longer to break down complex carbs
- With 15 grams of dietary fiber per 100g serving, the Black Sapote could be a tasty and healthier alternative to commercial laxatives
- Being high in fiber content, the Black Sapote can help cleanse the gut from unwanted toxins
- Vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin C
- Black sapote contains almost five times the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C. So if you’re not a big fan of citrus fruit, you can turn to the Black Sapote for your Vitamin C needs
- Black Sapote contains 350mg of potassium per 100g serving which helps balances your electrolytes
- Potassium is also beneficial in increasing stimulation of the kidneys
- Calcium, Phosphorous, and Iron
- Black sapote contains all three, which provide various health benefits for the body.
- Vitamin C