Cultivate

All About Eggfruit

Nick Musica
Mar 22, 2021 - 1 minute read

Eggfruit goes by many names in English, including cupcake fruit, canistel and yellow sapote. Legend has it that the canistel got the name “eggfruit” because its flesh has the color and texture of cooked egg yolks. While they’re some truth to this, eggfruit is much more special and delicious than the savory description suggests. 

Eggfruit has the creamy texture of avocado, bold orange color of a butternut squash, and a sweet, custardy flavor that’s reminiscent of sweet potato pie. It has no acidity and a brown sugary sweetness. Canistel, or eggfruit, has a reputation for having a dry consistency, when in fact the flesh resembles a juicy avocado when perfectly ripe

On the outside, eggfruits have a thin peel with a bold, golden yellow color. Inside, the fruit is the exact same color, reminiscent of the inside of a sugar pumpkin. They’re the shape of a squat tomato with a pointed bottom, giving them the shape of a teardrop or upside down pear. In the center of each eggfruit are two to three shiny, black, chestnut-like seeds. These seeds are inedible and should be discarded.

Big fans of this yellow sapote eggfruit find it to be a deliciously versatile piece of produce. It tastes like picking a fresh slice of pumpkin pie from a tree, and can be used as though it were a sweet avocado! Eggfruit goes in beverages like cocktails, juices and smoothies. It’s custardy texture and sweeter-than-sweet potato flavor is welcome in desserts, candies, jams, salads and savory meals. 

Eggfruit, or canistel, is native to areas covering Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and El Salvador. Today you can find the eggfruit cultivated throughout the world, including the United States, India, South East Asia, Central America, the Caribbean, Nigeria and Australia. 

The tree from which eggfruits grow is squat and shrubby, growing about eight feet high three feet thick. Its leaves are relatively long and pointed, and green with a shimmery sheen. The bark is known for its latex sap. Depending on where it’s cultivated, eggfruit comes into season from September through February, typically peaking in December or January.

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