Most folks have no idea what a Mamey is, so let me introduce you to one of the most delicious fruits I know. The only place in the United States the Mamey (Mamey Sapote) is grown is in Miami-Dade County, it’s a tropical tree. It is believed the seed was introduced to the U.S. by the Cubans in the 19th century. This is a very large tree, about the size of a Magnolia tree; the fruit grows directly on the branches, no stems. This is the only tree I know of where you can see three seasons’ growth on it at the same time. The fruit takes more than a year to mature on the tree. In September you can see the mature fruit ready for picking, immature fruit which won’t be ready for another year and the flowers which won’t be mature fruit for 2 more years. I just took this picture showing the mature ready to pick fruit and the fruit that won’t be ready for another year.
The exterior of this large fruit is nothing remarkable, brown and rough. But when it ripens, it is soft to the touch like an avocado, and like an avocado it has one large black seed inside. But when you slice it open – surprise!!! The salmon colored pulp is aromatic, rich, creamy, smooth and soooo sweet! It is so sweet that most folks eat a third to a half at one time – a great fruit to share with someone. I just cut it in half, remove the seed and with a spoon eat it right out of the skin. The fruit freezes very well, this fruit is very popular in ice cream and milk shakes.
Fruits are available from June through September. There is a lady in Pinecrest that grows them in her yard and is selling them for $2.75 per pound. I stopped by this week and bought some for myself and for sharing. Nothing makes my friends happier than when I go by to visit with a couple of Mamey’s !