I stumbled across this fruit at my local grocer, and the produce guy was so convincing of this fruit’s deliciousness that I had to pick up a few. It’s called white sapote, a member of the citrus family that comes from Central America and Mexico. It’s somewhere between a peach and an apricot in size and has a soft, fleshy pulp similar to an avocado with multiple pits.
The fruit starts off green and firm and ripens to a yellow color. This can happen pretty quickly, so if you leave it out to ripen, watch it so it doesn’t go over. When ripe, unlike other citrus, there is no acidity. It’s sweet and custard-y with notes of vanilla, pear and banana – if there is any tinge of bitter, it’s still unripe (I learned this the hard way!). It’s unlike any other fruit except possible the custard apple or cherimoya, which also have a sweet, custard-like texture.
Interestingly enough, the fruit was referred to in a Mexican dialect as “sleep sapote” because it has soporific (sleep-inducing) effects. Although the fruit is harmless, the seeds apparently contain narcotic compounds, so don’t eat them!