Sapote, The Fruit You Didn’t Know You Were Without

by Nanci


One of my favorite things about visiting new places is discovering new fruit.   All food, yes, but fruit in particular.  It’s just so… effortless.   When I go someplace new the local market is the first place I want to visit, and when I move somewhere new my relationship with my local produce vendor is the one I’m most focused on developing, over and above anything else.  You may say that I am obsessed but I know I’m not  the only one.

Sapote, Zapote in Spanish, is among my favorite fruit discoveries since I’ve moving to Nicaragua.  This is partially because it’s so exotic to me, but mostly because of the way it tastes.  Sapote is a fruit whose flavor profile tends to hang out in the deeper realms of the musical charts.  Bassy, mellow flavors that lack tartness in all ways.   If I were assigning musical instruments to fruit I would say the sapote is best represented by the upright base.  The papaya, for comparison’s sake, the cello.  Pineapple, the viola, and lime the violin.  There you have  your string quartet, and you can eat it too.  Cut into a sapote and you’ll detect notes of burned sugar, like a blackened marshmallow.  But not just that.  It’s floral notes are unmistakable, as though it has been kissed by lavender.  Texture wise it is like a perfectly cooked sweet potato that has been blended with a avocado.  You can see from the pictures how drop dead gorgeous it is. Plain brown on the outside, yes, but look at the hue of orange.  Sunset, in the palm of your hand.

Sapote is a fruit that is very amenable to dairy and coconut-milk based desserts, such as creme brulee, custards, puddings, ice cream and mousses.  Just add them to favorite existing mother recipe and away you go.  It’s also excellent in smoothies and raw desserts, and I have listed two recipes down below for you to try should you be fortunate to find yourself in a place that grows sapote.

Sapote Pie or, “raw vegan ”sweet potato” pie”

The first time I bit into a sapote I thought to myself, “this tastes like sweet potato pie.”  And so, this recipe was born.  I use cashews for the crust because they are locally grown where I live, in Nicaragua.  Pecans would work well too.  This is a recipe that is suitable for breakfast as much as it is for dessert.

2 cups ripe sapote, chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon agar-agar
parchment paper
1/2 teaspoon oil, such as coconut, or vegetable

Pulse the ingredients in the food processor until all the ingredients come together to form a ball.
Line a pie pan with parchment.  Grease the parchment with oil.
Press the nuts into the pan.  Spoon the filling in, chill until set.

Sapote smoothie

A real carotenoid powerhouse blend.  High in cancer fighting antioxidants and great for your eyes.  
1 cup ripe sapote, chopped
1/2 cup ripe papaya, chopped
1/4 cup raw carrot, chopped
1 cup milk, cow,
​coconut or nut milks all work
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup iceBlend everything but the ice.  Once blended add the ice and blend again.  If it’s too thick add more ice and blend again.

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