Black Sapote - Chocolate Pudding Fruit (Diospyros Dignya)
With a taste and texture similar to chocolate pudding, how can you not be intriged by this amazing plant!
Attractive and evergreen with large glossy leaves and small white flowers, this tree will grow into a lovely shade tree. I know a few people who have trees up to around 4 metres high producing lots of lovely fruit. It will take a while to get there though, expect your first fruit in 3-4 years. Your patience will be rewarded!
The Black Sapote is a hardy plant, and do not mind too much about the type of soil they grow in, but make sure that it is well drained and improved with organic material.
A native of hot climates, Diospyros Dignya likes to be warm and humid. It will flourish in tropical conditions. Unlike real chocolate though, it will not melt in full sun so try to give them a warm spot in your garden. Protected from cold winds, especially the young trees. It likes to be kept moist and will not tolerate drought conditions, but the occasional flood, on the other hand, is fine.
As with most plants the Chocolate Pudding tree will benefit from regular application of plant food. They respond well to organic fertiliser several times a year and mulch.
Enjoying your fruit
Pick your fruit when it has changed to a yellow green from the unripe olive colour. It will still be hard when picked. Place it in your fruit bowl for at least a week. It is not ready until it is almost mushy, a squeeze should leave a dent in the fruit. Now scoop it out and add vanilla and cream, honey, cinnamon or even rum or brandy for a delightful treat :) Occassionally trees will not be self fertile so plant several to ensure a good supply of fruit!
Plants for sale: Strong Seedling Trees 30-40cm tall.
Images by Tatiana Gerus, Yonygg & Asit K. Ghosh