Friday, December 11, 2015

Chocolate Pudding Fruit

For my 100th post, I thought I'd do something a little different! Since moving back to Florida (in September), I have really come to appreciate all that south Florida has to offer. That being said, I feel like I should focus on what I am most thankful for here, in my own neighborhood.  It is important to know about your surroundings, whether it is knowledge of local foraging information, local, traditional herbal remedies, or just knowing where to buy the freshest local produce.  Your family will thank you for putting in the extra research to keep them healthy!

I've decided to introduce my readers to a rare tropical fruit- it may or may not be in your local grocery store/farmers' market.  But, if you ever come across this fruit, you will know exactly what to do with it and maybe even propagate your own chocolate pudding fruit tree!  Chocolate pudding fruit (black persimmon or black sapote) is grown in semi-tropical/tropical climates, and is really quite average-looking as far as fruits go:

Chocolate Pudding Fruit

The lifted calyxes of a ripe chocolate pudding fruit

The mature fruit will have lifted calyxes (the flower-looking part on top).  If you happen to find a fruit with calyxes that lay flat to the skin of the fruit, do not buy them as they will never fully ripen! You can see from the picture above that the calyxes are curled back from the skin.  

Mature, unripened fruit is picked when the calyxes are lifted off the skin, although they are usually hard as gourds.  But, as they ripen on your counter, you will notice that the skin turns a darker shade of green and the calyxes will turn black.  When the ripened fruit is handled, you will feel the hard skin give way to the softening meat.  Usually, if you let the fruit sit about 1-2 days after it starts to soften, it will then be ready for eating...

A ripened fruit- notice how soft the meat has gotten by the dent in its skin

Cut the ripened fruit down the middle and pull the sides apart- you will see that the meat is dark brown, like chocolate!  There are also large, almond-like seeds that you might want to save.  Just scoop out the meat with a spoon- Be careful not to rip the skin, which will make the meat harder to remove.  This meat can be eaten fresh and has a custard-like consistency.  It can also be used in many recipes, one of which I will share with you now...

The meat of a ripened fruit and seeds, ready to propagate

Unfortunately, the chocolate pudding fruit does not taste like chocolate... but, before you leave, I have a recipe that will make it creamy and chocolaty!  Here is my version of Chocolate Pudding Fruit Chocolate Pudding:

1 chocolate pudding fruit- meat scooped out in bowl
1-2 T cocoa powder
about 1/8 c cream
drizzle of honey

Mix all ingredients together with a spoon, making sure to smooch all lumps of fruit, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Eat alone or with a dollop of whipped cream on top!

Now to get that chocolate pudding fruit tree growing!  If you have saved the seeds for propagating, click this link to see the germinating directions.  According to these directions, the seeds have a very high viability rate!  I am planning on having at least two of these trees in my yard in the near future :)

Enjoy your healthy, homemade chocolate pudding!  And, if you can't finish it all, chocolate pudding fruit meat freezes very well for future use :)

More chocolate pudding fruit recipes:
ice cream

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