Cooking with Mamey Sapote Pouteria sapota

In the cuisine of Mexico, Central America and the West Indies,there is probably no other fruit that is so loved as is the mamey sapote! Its creamy texture and sweet almond, caramel flavor have been treasured for centuries in this part of the world, and only recently is now being enjoyed in other areas of the world.

Once you have tasted the creamy mamey, you too will come to love this excellent fruit.

 

Here are a few tips to help you choose and care for your mamey.

Selecting Fruit

There are two varieties of mamey sapote that most commonly grow in Florida. The larger, pointed, football shaped Magana with its dark, salmon colored flesh, and the smaller, round, Pantin, or Key West variety, with its orange flesh, and a bit sweeter flavor. Both mamey varieties have a brown, scruffy outer peel, and an inside flesh of excellent quality and flavor.

Mameys must be mature when they are picked from the tree, but not ripe. A fruit is mature when it has reached its full size and shape, but the starches inside the fruit have not yet converted to sugar. As those starches change into sugars, usually over a few days, the fruit will gradually soften and emit a pleasant aroma.

To choose a mamey at the market, gently scratch the surface of the fruit with your nail near both ends of the fruit. If the color of the flesh is an orange-red at both ends, then the fruit has matured on the tree and will ripen on your counter. If the color underneath is greenish, then that fruit will most likely NOT ripen. Choose another fruit!

The fruit that is ordered from our growers is carefully selected by the grower and will be sent to you fully mature and ready to ripen in your home.

Ripening

When your mamey arrives from one of our growers, or when you bring it home from the market, place the mamey in a warm area to ripen, like on the kitchen counter.

And let it sit.

And then let it sit some more.

Your mamey will be ready to eat when an impression remains after you press your finger on the fruit, and the brown peel begins to wrinkle. You want the fruit to be so soft that it will be flat on the bottom from sitting on the counter! Now it is ready to eat!

At this point, the fruit is very sweet and the mamey will have a creamy texture. With very large mameys, it is important to let the fruit get very soft as the pulp in the middle of the fruit will take longer to ripen.

Handling

To open your mamey, take a sharp knife and cut through the brown peel (usually from point to point), and through the soft flesh until you reach the large seed inside. Circle the knife around until your have cut through the peel and flesh. Slightly twist the two halves and open. Inside you will see one (sometimes two) large, brown, shiny seed. Discard the seed, and remove any fibers from the seed cavity. With a spoon, scoop out the flesh and enjoy!

Storage

Once your mamey has fully ripened you can store it by placing it in a zip-lock bag or plastic container and kept it in the refrigerator for several weeks. Our growers have kept mamey for up to three weeks before getting an off flavor.

We do not recommend placing a mature, but unripe mamey in the refrigerator to ripen at a later date. The cold temperatures of the home refrigerator will cause chilling injury to the unripe fruit and in most cases, it will not ripen once it is removed from the refrigerator. It is better to fully ripen the fruit until it is SOFT, and then refrigerate it.

Counts and Weights

The pointed Magana mamey ranges in size from 1 – 8+ lbs., but the average Magana weighs in around 2½ – 3½ lbs...

The round Key West or Pantin mamey will weigh between ¾ – 5+ lbs., but usually they average 1½ – 2½ lbs.

Nutrition

Mameys are nutritious fruits. One serving of mamey (100 g of pulp) contains 124 calories, 1 g protein, <1 g fat; 32 g total carbohydrates; 6 g fiber, 454 mg potassium, 143 I.U. Vitamin A, and 23 mg Vitamin C.

Data from USDA website: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2383?manu=&fgcd=&ds=

Recipes

The rich flavor of the mamey is excellent in many dishes such as milk shakes, jams, flans, etc.

 

Below are several recipes for you to try.

Vegan Mamey Ice Cream

Serves 2

from Reed Olszack, Local Flavors, Recipes Raised in the Florida Redland

INGREDIENTS

1 large mamey

2 cans coconut milk

1 c rice or soy milk

1/2 t. almond extract

Refrigerate all ingredients for several hours or overnight.

Skim coconut oil from 1 can of coconut milk that has solidified at top of can.

Combine and puree mamey pulp, coconut milk, coconut oil from chilled can, rice or soy milk, and almond extract in blender. Place in ice cream maker and freeze.

 

Mamey Glazed and Spiced Chicken

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 c. mamey

¼ c dry white wine

¼ c. water

1 T/ Pernod

¼ t. ground cinnamon

Pinch ground cloves

Pinch ground nutmeg

4 6oz. chicken breasts

2 T/ olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 t/ salt

½ t. pepper

4 sprigs fresh mint

DIRECTIONS

To Prepare the glaze: 

In a small bowl of a food processor, pulse together the mamey, wine, water and Pernod. Add in the dry spices and set aside.

 

To prepare the chicken: 

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the chicken and scatter the garlic in the pan. Pour the mamey mixture into the pan, cover and simmer over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through.

 

To serve: 

Transfer chicken to plates and spoon the sauce over the top. Garnish with fresh mint.

Creamy Mamey Sapote Bread Pudding with Vanilla cream sauce

Chef Mark Mattern Ever Changing Times

Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

8 oz. Croissant bread, cubed in 1” pieces

2 c. half & half

2 c. heavy cream

1 ea. Vanilla, split length-wise

6 Eggs

1 c. sugar

1 c. mamey sapote pulp

1 pinch kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the crust off the bread and cut into 1 inch cubes (Not if using croissant). Arrange on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Leave the oven on.  Heat the Half and Half, heavy cream and salt, in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the cream reaches a fast simmer (Do not let it boil), turn off the heat and allow to cool. Whisk in the eggs and the sugar together in a large mixing bowl or KitchenAid Mixer, until the mixture lightens in color. Gradually add the hot cream mixture. Strain into a large bowl to smooth mixture and remove the vanilla bean. Add the bread cubes, toss well and let soak until fully absorbed. Fold the mixture into baking pans, sprayed with vegetable spray. Arrange the pan of pudding is a water bath and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes, then remove the cover and allow to brown. Serve warm or chilled with a vanilla ice cream

© 2020 by Tropical Fruit Growers of South Florida - Photo Credits: Ian Maguire & Shaun Wright