This list of exotic fruits and the short description of each fruit, along with photos so that you will know what you are looking at while shopping in the markets, will get you started. I will add to this list during subsequent issues, with the latest fruits highlighted at the top of the list.
Note: When asking for these fruits at one of our many fruiterias, keep in mind that each of these have numerous names which can cause some confusion.
Yaca / Jackfruit
There are stories floating around that the flesh has some aphrodisiac properties. Let me know how that goes for you.
The Mangosteen fruit reaches a size of about 4 cm in diameter. The actual edible portion is the white orange like sections found on the inside. Many people say that this is their favorite fruit. Use it on salads or eat it alone.
A powerful antioxidant found almost exclusively in mangosteen – has properties that alleviate pain, allergies, infections, skin problems and fatigue at the same time it supports intestinal health.
Chico Zapote / Zapote Negro / Sapodilla
Chef Betty Vazquez, Culinary Ambassador for the Riviera Nayarit, has called the Chico Zapote, the “Flavor King,”—and that’s not far from the truth! Its juicy pulp tastes very much like a pear and is truly delicious. In pre-Hispanic times, the Aztecs—who believed in its healing properties—called this fruit tzapotl. Its name stems from the Nahuatl word chictli, which means chicle, or gum.
The zapote negro, one of its many names, is very prolific in Nayarit, although it’s native to the coastal areas of Chiapas, Veracruz and Yucatan and can even be found in the woodlands of Central America. When it’s ripe it turns green on the outside and brown on the inside and tastes sort of like chocolate. This fruit is harvested from August through January.
Mamey / Mammee Apple
It is common to see vendors along the sides of the road selling this fruit. It has a very bright salmon-colored interior pulp that tastes like honey and almonds. This pulp is creamy, soft and sweet. The mamey is part of the zapote family
The Mammee Apple is actually an evergreen tree fruit. It has many different colors both inside and out.
Apart from their sweet and tangy, taste the Mammee apple is a good source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Enjoy on your ice cream or in smoothies.