During our visit up the hill last weekend, my valley neighbour and I were given fruit from a tree we’d never seen before. ‘What is it?’
‘What’s a pony’
‘What’s a what’s a pony?’
‘What’s a pony’
And so forth round and round. Until finally I deciphered the words, white sapote.
Apparently it tastes like a banana, so we took it and walked down the hill through the 42 varieties of mango trees. My valley neighbour started saying that she would never plant 42 varieties (that was her statistic, I am pretty sure I counted 6), as she would just pick the sweetest and plant lots of that. And she doesn’t go in for ‘different’ fruits like the whatsapony.
Not knowing anything about it other than to let it ripen, which I did for 5 days on my window sill, prodding it until it was ‘banana-squishy’, I ate it tonight. That, and making coulis, is all I know to do with fruit. I sliced into it, and at first, not knowing what the centre stuff was, I nibbled on it. Hard seed….bleech. But then I ate the flesh which was creamy and smooth, and I guess a little banana-y. (I am thinking ‘banana’ is the default flavour of unknown fruits, a bit like ‘chicken’ is for unknown meats).
After the remains were disposed of, I thought that I should probably learn a little about the fruit, such as that it is not toxic when eaten raw. So, I consulted Wikipedia.
This is what I now know about a white sapote:
In the native language of Mexico it is called a cochitzapotl, which means ‘sleep sapote’, and has edible pulp (phew). The flavour can be banana-y, but also a little bland – I thought it may have been. Its seeds have narcotic properties – they’re in the bin now – that’ll teach me not to swot up first! It induces drowsiness, hence the name….
I don’t think I would grow a tree myself, but I am glad that I tried it, as I learnt a few things. While it sounds like just the thing to get R2 off to sleep at night – because nothing else will- I am pretty sure that the kids would prefer just the sweetest type of mango.