Mammee Apple, St. Domingo apricot and South American apricot
The mamey is native to the West Indies and
northern South America. It was recorded as growing near Darién, Panama, in
1514, and in 1529 was included by Oviedo in his review of the fruits of
the New World.
Mamey is the brown fruit of a fair-size
tropical-American tree Calocarpum sapota, of the
sapodilla family. This fruit may actually be as good as Sapodilla,
and it has the right to be so, since it belongs to the same family. Its
soft, sugary flesh is dark brown to reddish, and melts in the mouth. The
Mamey looks something like an Irish potato and has a single large,
dark-brown pit inside, and tastes like a succulent pastry.
Ripeness may be indicated by a slight
yellowing of the skin or, if this is not apparent, one can scratch the
surface very lightly with a fingernail. If green beneath, the fruit should
not be picked, but, if yellow, it is fully mature. The ripe flesh is
appetizingly fragrant and, in the best varieties, pleasantly sub-acidic,
resembling the apricot or red raspberry in flavor. Fruits of poor quality
may be too sour or mawkishly sweet. Small fruits are usually
single-seeded; larger fruits may have 2, 3 or 4 seeds.
Preparation To facilitate
peeling, the skin is scored from the stem to the apex and removed in
strips. The rag must be thoroughly scraped from the flesh which is then
cut off in slices, leaving any part which may adhere to the seed, and
trimming off any particles of seed-covering from the roughened inner
surface of the flesh.