Diospyros nigra is commonly called the Chocolate Pudding Fruit or ‘Black Sapote’. Related to the Persimmon, this is a tropical to sub tropical fruit tree, however it can be grown in temperate climates if you create the right conditions.
Black Sapote Taste and Ripeness
In terms of taste, the common name of Chocolate Pudding Fruit does not really describe the taste that well. Actual taste is more like a vanilla/caramel, however when you open the fruit it does look like a black pudding.
The fruit is ripe when it is soft, if you push gently on the skin it will give easily. Another sign of ripeness is a few black spots on the skin. And when you cut it open it it is black and soft and has a great texture.
One of the classic ways of eating the fruit is by removing the pulp and squeezing a little orange juice on it. It can also be eaten with ice-cream, used as a substitute in banana bread or again as a dessert with orange juice and a splash of tequila.
How to Grow Black Sapote
Black Sapote trees require a warm sheltered position free from frosts. Although they are really a sub – tropical tree, they can be grown in cooler climates if you can provide the right micro climate.
- A humus rich well drained soil is important.
- A position protected from cold winds and cold wet winters is also required.
- A consistently moist, although not wet and soggy soil is required for good growth.
- Once established, in good soil that is well mulched little extra watering will be required.
- A little slow release organic fertiliser each spring should be adequate.
- Mulch around the plant to control weeds and provide a cool moist root run.
Generally pruning is not required other than to remove dead or damaged wood, or to maintain a smaller shaped tree.
When to Harvest the Black Sapote Fruit
This is interesting as the fruit generally has two harvest periods in warmer climates. The first in summer, the second in winter.
Fruit is harvested before it ripens, the skin will begin to turn from a bright green to a deeper colour. The fruit at this stage will be between 3 and 6 inches in diameter.
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