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Spring Mystery Fruit on Ambergris Caye: Mamey

While temperatures still dip low in parts of the states and snow still threatens, spring time in Belize is marked by hot, dry, often windy weather.

We are in the thick of it!

It is also the season for FRUIT.  Our year-round steady supply of oranges, bananas, papaya, pineapple and watermelon is supplemented with the seasonal fruits from the mainland.

**It’s also the season for BABIES.  One of our white winged doves has new twins.

And there are gecko eggs EVERYWHERE.  We had to move a bunch so they wouldn’t get crushed.

Early spring sees green plums…and then green mango, sapodilla, star apples, custard apples and now…MAMEY.

Say it MAH-may.

A fruit that almost looks like a dirty too-evenly shaped potato.  A fruit SO beautiful on the inside has very little “curb appeal”.

The mamey fruit is  the Pouteria Sapota and native to this area – Cuba and Central America.  A gorgeous big dark green leaved tree that grows on the Belize mainland.

We have the red mamey but there are also yellow mameys.  I’ve only run into those ONCE.  On the island of Guanaja (one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited MINUS the killer sand flies)

They called it Cannonball Fruit.

Our red mamey is ripe when just a bit tender – like an avocado.  And you cut it the same way.  And cut serve like that.  Like cantaloupe – scoop the fruit out of the rind.

It’s THE most gorgeous color.  I am going to officially rename Pantone 171C – Mamey.

You can find them in fruit stands in San Pedro right about now.  They are about $2.50bzd to $3.50bzd each depending on the spot (and your relationship with the fruit vendor).

As ALWAYS with a new fruit or even a familiar one like pineapple, I ask for help.  If I want a pineapple that will be ready tomorrow, I ask for it.  TRUST ME WHEN I SAY that my judgement in such matters is inferior…plus, I LOVE to chat up fruit merchants.  They know very cool things.

This fruit is absolutely delicious.  Wikipedia accurately describes the taste as a mixture of “sweet potato, pumpkin, honey, prune, peach, apricot, cantaloupe, cherry, and almond”.

But SERIOUSLY – you can taste pumpkin, almond, honey and prune.  It is almost like a pie filling – creamy and sweet.

The mamey stores beautifully in the refrigerator and, I think, is best eaten cold.  It’s almost like sherbert.

Keep your eyes peeled for the mamey.  And her relative the sapodilla – which looks very similar on the outside, a bit more round, and tastes almost like a peach/pear.

The sapodilla are ALMOST ready here at Cayo Frances Farm & Fly.  If anyone knows how to pick the ones HIGH up on the tree?  Please let me know.  I’ll bring you one.

Elsie under our sapodilla tree.

Sapodilla Tree

And the fruit.

I don’t think either are going to make it to the fruit aisle at the local American quicky-mart – it’s the unappealing outside.

Rejoice Belize fruit lovers!  Keep your eyes on the small fruit stands – they often have cut samples hanging out front

And get ready to taste all sorts of new and interesting stuff.

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