El Sapote Negro

The markets in Mexico City are a great hunting ground for strange and funky ingredients.  At a fruit vendor near my house yesterday I picked up something called a “black sapote” (or tzapotl in Nahautl).  Admittedly, I didn’t know what to think… it’s the size of an apple (with two scaly leaves on top, such as with a persimmon), has green wrinkled skin like an avocado, and seems to sag like an old tomato, which gives it a soft, mushy appearance.  I’m not sure if there’s a common root, but the term for “frog” in Spanish is “sapo”… this fruit looks like the frog of the fruit world.

I made it pose for a few pictures with the orange...

I made it pose for a few pictures with the orange...

The vendor told me it was sweet and should be eaten raw with an orange.  Well, one cost me 10 pesos (I didn’t feel like haggling)… and he threw in an orange for free.  At home, I made it pose for a few pictures with the orange.  The sapote was as soft and mushy as it looked.. so I had to take care so as to not squish it.

Preparation was quite easy.  I sliced it open and scooped out the soft, black flesh, which has the consistency of pudding.  In fact, after a google search, I found that black sapotes are often referred to as “chocolate pudding fruit“.  I had to take care for the large seeds and the green skin, both of which are inedible and had the smell (and taste) of the bitter part of a persimmon.  

As directed, I served it in a bowl with the sliced orange.  By itself, the black sapote has a silky texture with a slight sweetness and a mild, but distinct, flavor.  The orange, however, brought out more of the sweetness and… perhaps I was tasting the name, but I swear it tasted a little like chocolate. 


México, D.F.


One Response

  1. you were supposed to eat the zapote only with the juice of the orange. I’ve just discovered your site, I’m mexican, and I live in the DF. Your pictures are amazing, and it’s really interesting to know how a foreign person see our beautiful country.

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