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A type of tree that produces a tropical fruit, the mamey sapote is found in the northern section of South America and the southern portion of Mexico. These trees are known for their beautiful evergreen foliage, as well as for the tasty melon that is produced for a good part of the year. A scratchy brown skin characterizes the melons, which are sometimes referred to as mameys. The sturdy covering protects a meat that is pink to orange in color, creamy in texture and pleasantly sweet.
Mamey sapote fruit is considered to be one of the tastiest of all tropical fruits. The flavor of the mamey is generally considered to be similar to sweet potato or pumpkin, with a dash of chocolate and almond flavoring. There are those that also detect a hint of chocolate flavor in the fruit as well. The melon is normally four to ten inches in length and three to five inches wide, is easy to peel and will keep under proper refrigeration for several days.
The mamey sapote melon is a favorite in a number of countries in Central America, the Caribbean, and portions of southern Florida. A common preparation method is slicing the fruit into wedges and mixing with chunks of honeydew and strawberries. Mamey sapote fruit is loaded with a number of vitamins and nutrients, and is an excellent alternative to processed snacks. In some areas of South America, this fruit is also considered to be a revitalizing aphrodisiac.
A number of other enjoyable desserts and treats are made with mamey sapote. Among the most popular options are fruit sorbets, ice cream, and milkshakes that are made with a blend of the fruit and coconut milk. While the fruit is not widely available in the United States outside the Gulf Coast, mamey sapote melons can sometimes be found in upscale independent grocery stores.