white sapote

Pronunciation: [sah-POH-tay]

A tropical fruit native to Mexico and Central America, though it's also grown in California and Florida. The white sapote comes from a tropical tree in the family Rutaceae, and the fruit is said to induce sleep and have a calming effect on the nervous system. This fruit is plum-shaped and about the size of a small orange. The thin skin ranges in color from chartreuse to yellow. The ivory-colored flesh has a creamy, custardlike texture and a sweet flavor that is reminiscent of a peach-avocado-vanilla blend. The flesh contains from 3 to 5 medium-size seeds, which should be removed. White sapotes are available from October to February in some specialty produce markets and farmer's markets. Ripen at room temperature as you would an avocado. Store ripe fruit in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The white sapote is also called zapote blanco and—like the cherimoya—is sometimes referred to as custard apple. See also black sapote; mamey sapote.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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