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Caimito – Star Apple Chrysophyllum cainito

Photo Credit: Ian Maguire

Caimitos are a delicious, sweet fruit.  The edible flesh is inside a tough green or purple rind, and embedded in the pulp are a few flattened, brown seeds. The seeds are arranged around the core, so that when cut in cross section, the seeds form a star around the core.


Below are  a few tips to help you choose and care for your caimitos.

Selecting fruit

Caimitos must be mature when they are picked from the tree, otherwise they will not ripen. Our growers are experienced with these fruits and are experts in gauging maturity of their crops. Fruits purchased from our growers will be mature and ready to ripen on your kitchen counter.

If you purchase caimitos in a market, try to find fruits that are beginning to soften, that way you be pretty sure that the fruit is mature.

Ripening

Allow the fruits to sit on the counter at room temperature until they are just a little bit wrinkled and give a little, like a ripe peach.

Handling

To open your ripe caimito, cut completely through the fruits and separate. Scoop out the soft flesh with a spoon, leaving the seeds and core. Do not eat the skin or the rind.

Storage

Once the caimito has ripened, store the ripe fruit in a plastic bag or container in the coldest part of the refrigerator. It will remain in good condition for 2-3 weeks.

You can also freeze the pulp tightly wrapped in plastic.

Counts and Weights

A mature caimito weighs roughly 8-12 oz. The skin, rind and seeds, which are not edible, make up about 1/3 of the fruits weight.

Nutrition

Caimito is a nutritious fruit and contains moderate amounts of calcium, phosphorus, ascorbic Acid and is a good source of anti-oxidants. 100g of pulp has the following nutrition: Calories – 67, Protein .7-2.3g, Carbohydrates -14.7g , Calcium – 7-17 mg, Phosphorous – 16-22mg, Iron – .3-.7g, Ascorbic Acid – 3-15mg

Recipes

As with many tropical fruits, the best way to enjoy them is to just open them up and eat them right then and there, and  it certainly is true with caimitos! Try chilling your caimitos first, open them up, and scoop out the delicious pulp with a spoon, leaving the seeds and the core.


If you want to try combining caimito with other flavors, give the following recipes a try!


Jamaica Fruit Salad Ice

Combine chopped caimito with chopped mango, citrus, pineapple, other fruits. Add coconut water, freeze and serve.


Strawberries and-cream

Mixed caimito pulp with orange juice, a little sugar, grated nutmeg and a spoonful of sherry. Chill and enjoy.


Caimito Sherbert

From: www.recipespin.com

3 cups ripe caimito(preferably violet variety), seeded and mashed
1 370 ml. can CARNATION Evaporated Milk
1 cup sugar
2 cups water

Instructions:

1. Mix all ingredients and place in a plastic container. Freeze until partially set.
2. Beat thoroughly and freeze overnight. Serve in ice cream cups.