Black Sapote, Also Known as Chocolate Pudding Fruit, is a Delicious, Tropical Treat.

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.

Black sapote, almost ripe.Almost ripe fruit - note raised calyx and darkening green skin.

Its 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.

Black sapote ready to eatSoft and dark, ready to eat

How to eat black sapote?

A 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!

Black sapote fruit cut in half and ready to eat with a spoonGrab your spoon!

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.

High in 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!

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