) is a Sapotaceae
family species. The fruit is native to Mexico and northern South America (in its tropical and subtropical zones). It is related to zapotilla
or sapodilla, the fruit of the gum tree (Manilkara zapota
) and the star apple (caimito
) (Pouteria caimito
), but it is not related to the black sapote (Diospyros digyna
) or the white sapote (Casimiroa edulis
name zapotilla name comes from the Nahuatl tetzontzapotl
, meaning “tezontle
-colored zapote” (i.e., the same color as a red-orange volcanic rock known as tezontle
). The fruit is also known as mamey colorado, colorado sapote, mamey sapote
, etc. (Ricardo Muñoz Zurita)
mamey tree grows to a height of 15 to 45 meters. It has elliptical to rounded leaves, pink flowers and ovoid fruits with brown skin and rough (salmon-colored) orange flesh. These fruits are sweet and contain one or two elongated, hard, glossy, black or brown seeds.
is a remarkable fruit due to its high vitamin A content (which contributes to healthy skin, eyes, teeth and gums), as well as a high protein, calcium, phosphorus and iron content.
season is December to March; the most widespread production takes place in the Central Gulf, the Yucatán, Central, North Pacific (Sinaloa) and South Pacific (Chiapas).
eat mamey fresh as dessert, as an ingredient in sorbets and popsicles or combined with milk in smoothies. Cooked in milk, it is a base for sweets, jellies or custards. Shredded, mamey seeds make a fragrant, refreshing ade.
from mamey trees is used in rustic constructions as well as for staircases, doorframes, windows, picture frames, fine furniture, footwear soles, guns grips and pool cues.
seeds or pits, known as pixtle
in some regions, can be roasted and ground to make hair dye. Since pre-Hispanic times, mamey tree oil has been used as a pomade and is sought after by the cosmetics industry as well.