White sapote procured at an organic fruit stand.
White sapote procured at an organic fruit stand.

Surrounded by a plethora of organically grown fruits and vegetables at a small stand on the Big Island of Hawaii, I asked the queen of fruits, proprietor Beth, which two of her fruits are her hard-to-find favorites. Without hesitation, her selection included the white sapote.

This little-known fruit is native to central Mexico and can grow in climates where oranges also flourish. However, they are not very popular commercially because when they are ripe, they are very soft and bruise easily. Not an ideal candidate for transporting over long distances. This is why even at the fruit stand, Beth had written the note, “Please no squeeze.”

White Sapote
White Sapote: Even my careful effort to transport them a short distance home caused an unsightly bruise on this tender fruit.

I eagerly sliced this fruit in half the next morning. Took a spoon and dug into the soft, creamy flesh. For those of you that love fruit, there is no purer form of eating fruits with soft flesh than cutting them in half and scooping the contents out. You get to enjoy the texture of the skin which acts as a bowl. The curves in the pieces that the spoon makes form interesting shapes for your tongue to play with. And there is just something visceral, almost barbaric in attacking a piece of fruit with a blunt metal object.

It was like sweet, creamy pear. Truly delectable. So precious little of it and so absolutely devour-worthy. I was cautious not to scoop too close to the skin as I noted the skin, unlike an apple or pear, has a bitter taste to it.

At the time I didn’t realize that the white sapote was known to cause drowsiness. I am now trying to remember if I had the white sapote on the same morning I performed a mango tasting across 6 different types of mangoes. I do recall after the mango tasting, I fell asleep in what I thought was a fruit-overdose comatose. However, if I did have the white sapote on the same morning, perhaps it was really the white sapote that caused me to fall unconscious on the bed for a couple of hours.

Hmmm….a mystery that will never be solved.

So, if you come across a white sapote, don’t squeeze it, but do procure it. And please, don’t eat white sapotes and drive.

White Sapote
The seed of the white sapote which has many pharmaceutical compounds including n-methylhistamine, n-dimethylhistamine, zapotin and histamine. At least according to the all-knowing Wikipedia.
Loni Stark is an artist at Atelier Stark, self-professed foodie, and adventure travel seeker who has a lifelong passion for technology’s impact on business and creativity. She collaborates with Clinton Stark on video projects for Atelier Stark Films. It’s been said her laugh can be heard from San Jose all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. She makes no claims to super powers, although sushi is definitely her Kryptonite.