We’re in a Mamey grove in The Redlands, an agricultural area southwest to Miami, Florida. There are all kinds of Sapotes; there’s great Sapotes, white Sapotes, black Sapotes, but there’s only one Mamey Sapote. They are native to Mexico and Central America, they grow very well throughout the Caribbean, especially Cuba and they’ve been growing here in the subtropical climate of South Florida since the 1880s.
Mamey Sapotes grow close to the branches and it takes a year from flower to edible fruit. Actually it takes over a year; from here, this point, the flowering stage to this very juvenile state takes about a year; from this stage, to this stage where it’s edible it takes almost about another year, so it takes a really long time people. There’s 2 harvesting times, there’s January to April and then June to September, depending on the variety.
Farmers can tell when the fruit’s ready to pick due to the shape and color of the skin, but the best way to tell if it’s ready to pick is by taking your nail and scratching the surface on the tip of the fruit like this to see what color it is; it can be green, it can be orange or it can be red like this one, which means it’s perfect for picking. Now this one when it gets picked may be sent straight to the supermarket or you can have one of our farmers send it to your house if you go to our website TropicalFruitGrowers.com.
When going to the supermarket make sure that you pick the right Mamey because sometimes premature Mameys make it to the supermarket, the way to do this is what we talked about before, the scratch test, you grab a Mamey and you scratch to see what color it is beneath the skin, as you can see this is nice and red like a brick. Sometimes they come out yellow, sometimes they come out orange and no matter how long you wait they’ll never ripen correctly or at all, so make sure you do the scratch test.
When you get it home from the supermarket or you received it from one of our growers at TropicalFruitGrowers.com you just leave it in the kitchen counter, don’t put it in the refrigerator because they’re not ready to eat, you have to let them sit in room temperature to let them ripen, it’ll take about 5 to 7 days. You can tell when they’re ripe because they’ll start getting soft; it’s good to let it sit another extra day to let the sugar set in so it tastes extra yummy.
To open up a Mamey just take a sharp knife and cut deep into the Mamey all around, like so, and twist it open. You’ll see that it has a black shiny seed inside that’s already germinating and look, it even has a little root coming out. So you just remove the seed and maybe even the stem and then you have the Mamey, sliced and ready to eat with a spoon. It tastes like a sweet potato with pumpkin mixed together, it’s delicious. Another way to cut the Mamey is in slices like an avocado, you pull the skin back like so and take a bite, I love this. Mameys are also used for milkshakes, ice-creams and a whole bunch of different kinds of desserts like flan, I love them all, this is great stuff.
Now as far as storing the Mamey you just take it, put it in a plastic bag and put it in the refrigerator, which will keep it from over ripening and it’ll last a few more days. You can also spoon up the pulp, put it in a plastic freezer bag, put it in the ice box and it’ll last a good year. Mameys are very good fruits, very exciting, a lot of people go crazy over them, they have a great taste.
You should go to our website and get one of our farmers to deliver it straight to your house at www.TropicalFruitGrowers.com