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Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Canistel, or Yellow Sapote - 'Pouteria campechiana' - fam: Sapotaceae

The 'canistel' is an evergreen tree native to southern Mexico and Central America. It is cultivated in other countries, such as Brazil, Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines for its fruit. The shape and size of the fruit is highly variable, depending on the cultivar. The better selections consistently produce large ovate fruit with glossy skin weighing upwards of 14 ounces 1.

A fully mature fruit shows an intense yellow skin color. It will eventually soften and drop from the tree. Insects and birds avoid the fruit flesh, perhaps because of its astringent properties, that are much reduced in senescent fruits, but still perceptible to the human palate.

The fruit is round to oval and matures to a yellow-orange colour hence its other common name of 'egg fruit' and yellow sapote. The yellow flesh has a sweet earthy flavour and a meaty texture similar to a boiled egg. The fruit is delicious eaten fresh out of hand with a little salt and lemon juice added. Canistels are often added to sweet custards or made into delicious eggnog-like milk shakes by blending with milk. The fruits are very rich, the flesh can be dried and ground into a powder which is than used as a flavouring for sweet desserts 2 .

A number of varieties are grown in Australia, such as the 'Lyndall', 'Emma', 'Gray' and the 'Round', mainly in northern NSW and northern Queensland 3.

REFERENCES: Wikipedia 1 Australian Tropical Foods . com 2 Daleys Fruit Tree Nursery 3


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