Related to the cashew, the jocote is either an oblong or roundish, small, plum-sized fruit. Depending on the variety, the thin ripe skin ranges from yellow, orange, red or violet when ripe. The yellowish orange, juicy flesh is reminiscent of a mango when fully ripe. The center of the jocote has a large pit.

Known Varieties: 

over 50

When in season: 
How to select: 

Jacotes are tasty only when fully ripened. When the skin actually looks a little beat up then it is ripe enough to eat. If the skin is glossy and perfect it will probably not be sweet enough, although many people do eat them unripened - they are very sour and acidic this way.  Another indicator is the skin color. Green is definitely unripened. The fruits turn from gree to their yellow, orange, red or violet color, depending on the variety, as they mature.  I have run into many people who really dislike the jocote, claiming it to be too sour. It is really important to eat them fully ripened for that nice, sweet, mango-like flavor.  If they are unripe you will be left with a dry, pucker-mouth sensation that is unpleasant.

How to eat: 

Break apart the thin skin to reveal the flesh. The skin is not to be eaten.

Native to: 

Mexico, Central America, Northern South America and the Carribean

Nutritional Highlights: 

The jocote is a good source of vitamin A and C.  It is also high in phosphorus, iron and calcium.