Black Sapote

General Description/History

  • Round fruit
  • 5-12cm in diameter
  • Dark green when mature
  • Soft, pulpy, dark chocolate flesh, non-acid, sweet and insipid
  • On ripening, the smooth, thin skin becomes olive-green and then muddy-green
  • 1-10 flat, smooth, brown seeds but the fruits-are often seedless

The plant is an evergreen growing to about 8m in height. The leaves are tapered at both ends, leathery and glossy. The flowers are tubular lobed and white.

Maturity is indicated when the calices surrounding the stem on the fruit lift. Another indication of maturity is a lightening of skin colour, skin of ripe fruit quickly darkens. Fully ripe fruit is very soft and gives to even the slightest pressure applied.

Mature harvest fruit should ripen in 7 days, although under cold conditions some may take longer.

During ripening, changes of the fruit are dramatic. Overnight the fruit turns dark green, and later brown-black, and from rock hard to soft and mushy.

To open soft-ripe fruit, use a sharp knife and pierce the skin around the mid-line. Gently twist the two halves and pull the fruit apart. use a pointed knife to remove any seeds, complete with their skin envelope. The pulp may be spooned from the fruit half.

Some love and others loathe eating this fruit plain, but with – the addition of citrus juice, cream, a little rum, port or coffee liqueur the black sapote becomes quite irresistible to most people. It is an excellent addition to chocolate cake or muffin recipes to enhance flavour and moisture content and are great in mousses or trifle recipes.

The black Sapote is not strictly tropical in that it is hardy if protected from frosts during the first few years.

The tree thrives on moist sandy loam, on well-drained sand or somitic limestone with very little topsoil. It is usually grown from seeds, which remain viable for several months in dry storage and germinate about 30 days after planting.

A native to Mexico, the black Sapote or black persimmon is a most unusual fruit and is closely related to the persimmon and the Mabolo. The Spaniards to Amboyna apparently carried it before 1692 and to the Philippines long before 1776 and eventually reached Hawaii, Brazil, Cuba and Puerto Rica.

Nutritional Value

An extremely rich source of vitamin C with a 100g serving providing 1 90mg, which is more than 6 times the daily requirement. This same size serving provides 276 kilojoules. Small amounts of calcium and phosphorous are also provided.

Storage/Handling

0°c at 90-100% relative humidity.

Consumer Storage: Ripen at room temperature and store in the refrigerator crisper for a short time.

Season: Summer,Autumn,Winter,Spring

Botanical Name: Diaspyros digyna (Ebenaceae)

Alternative Names: Black persimmon, Chocolate Pudding Fruit

Availablity: January,May,June,July,August,September,October,November,December

Growing Areas: 

QLD – Bundaberg, Cairns, Rockhampton, Tolga