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Black Sapote-Gardening for Chocaholics

 

Black Sapote - Chocolate Pudding Fruit 

If you’re a chocolate fan (and let’s face it-who isn’t?) then you will want to hear about the Black Sapote, or Chocolate Pudding Fruit. As the name suggests, this is an extraordinary plant whose fruits produce a healthier version of that universal favourite, chocolate pudding. Alright, so it won’t be exactly the same and nor does it come in a handy little pot-but the taste and texture are unique and delicious!

Black Sapote is a member of the Persimmon family, and grows in Mexico, Guatamala and Australia. The trees can grow to over 80 feet high in their natural environments and have dark green leaves all year round.

The flowers are small, white and tubular, and in some cases a tree can bear both male and female flowers. This helps with pollination but in most cases having more than one tree for cross pollination will help the fruits to form.

The fruits are bright green when they are picked from the tree, and are edible when left to ripen for up to a week. The skin will brown and soften and the fruit is then edible-before it is ripe it will taste bitter and slightly unpleasant.

Once it is ripened, the fruit is a delicious source of alternative chocolate, making it ideal for those with lactose intolerances or those looking for a chocolate alternative. As well as being delicious the fruit is fantastically high in Vitamin C-it contains about 4 times as much as an orange-and Vitamin A, making it a healthy and interesting addition to any garden. The ripe fruit is by nature low in fat and a good source of energy.

Growing Chocolate Pudding Fruit

It is fairly easy to grow your own Chocolate puddings in the form of these amazing little fruits. Buying an established tree is the best way to get started as only this way can you guarantee that it will be from good stock and will have had a good start in life.

-These hardy trees are not too particular about the soil in which they are grown, but as a rule they like well drained, rich soil.

-As they are mainly from warm tropical environments, Black Sapote will not like to get too cold-although they will withstand a light frost

-Chocolate Pudding trees require plenty of water and will not tolerate drought conditions, so ensure they are kept moist at all times. They don’t mind the occasional flood but getting too dry will not do them any good.

Ways to Use Your Black Sapote

The simplest way to enjoy Chocolate Pudding Fruit is to simply pick the fruit, allow it to ripen and then peel and eat it by itself or in a fruit salad, but you can also make some funky recipes with this fantastic fruit:

-Chop it in half and spread with Passionfruit pulp

-Mix it with sugar and milk for a smooth chocolate pudding

-Mash it with brandy and cream for a slightly alcoholic treat-not for the kids!

Whatever you decide to do with the fruit, growing this fantastic tree is rewarding and fun, and will provide a great talking point as well as looking lovely in your garden.

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