Native to Mexico, the black sapote or chocolate pudding fruit is also
known as the black persimmon, because of its relationship to that fruit (in the same family).
The fruit (diospyros digyna) grows well in Tropical Australia,
where it is a minor crop and sometimes used as a windbreak because of
its dense, evergreen foliage.
Its emerald-green fruit must be picked
a week or so before it is eaten to allow the skin to become a
dark, dull green and the flesh to soften and turn a dark chocolate
colour. You can tell when it’s ready to eat if, when you squeeze it
gently with your fingertips, the indentation of your fingers remains.
soft, thick and creamy, textured flesh is delicious, with more than a
hint of chocolate flavour, and is especially ‘moreish’ when mixed with
cream, ice-cream or a dash of rum or used in cakes or breads. It can also
be made into ice-cream with added yoghurt, honey or cream. I recently
made a delicious ice-cream using these ingredients with the addition of ground wattleseed.
The soft flesh may be frozen for up to six months if you don't wish to use it straight away, then used in various recipes as you would for the fresh fruit.
squeeze of lime or half a passionfruit further enhances the fruit’s
chocolate flavour and creamy texture, or it may be whipped and
incorporated with pineapple juice and yoghurt for a refreshing
‘smoothie’ drink or made into a chocolate cake - its flavour further enhanced by the addition of raw cacao powder. It has the taste of chocolate without the
disadvantages of caffeine, fat and sugar!
The fruit is
shaped like an orange-coloured persimmon (or tomato) and grows to around
10 cm or more in diameter, being quite dense, with few seeds and thin
skin. It should not be refrigerated until it is soft, but then will keep
well or can be frozen, mashed, without any loss of flavour.
Vitamin C, potassium and fibre as well as Vitamin B3 (niacin) and Vitamin
A, black sapote fruit helps to improve the immune system, promote
healthy teeth and gums and the healing of wounds.
Hooray for chocolate pudding fruit!