Jocote fruit, which is pronounced “ho-CO-tay,” grows on deciduous trees in warm, tropical areas. Jocote comes from the Nahuatl word xocotl. It is the fruit of a flowering plant in the same family as cashews. It is called Spondias Purpurea by scientists, but people also call it Spanish Plum. When the fruit is fully ripe, it tastes sweet and delicious. Before that, it tastes sour or acidic.
Other common names for jocote include red mombin, plum, purple mombin, hog plum, ciriguela, ceriguela, seriguela, siriguela (Brazil) cocota, ciruela huesito (Colombia), ciruela, ciruela traqueadora (Panama), ciriguela, cirigüela, cirguela, cirguelo (Ecuador), makapruim (ABC islands (Leeward Antilles)), and siniguelas (Philippines). It is a popular fruit in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Costa Rica, among other places in Central America.
Jocote trees, native to Mexico and Central America, have a long history of use by the people of Mesoamerica for both food and medicinal purposes. In addition to providing nourishment, these trees have also been utilized for creating living fences and preventing soil erosion. The sap or gum extracted from jocote trees is used as a glue, and when combined with sapote or pineapple, it can be used to treat jaundice.
Nutritional Value And Health Benefits Of Jocote
Jocote fruit is a nutritious source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and fiber. They also contain carotene, B-complex vitamins, and several important amino acids, as well as high levels of antioxidants that can help to eliminate free radicals in the body. Some of the health benefits of Jocotes are:
May Help To Reduce Weight
The high fiber and nutrient content of jocotes make them effective appetite suppressants; as a result, they aid in eating less and losing weight by facilitating digestion.
May Help Treat Anemia
jocotes are a good source of iron, which is an essential nutrient that helps the body produce red blood cells and transport oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency, also known as anemia, is a common problem that can lead to fatigue, weakness, and other symptoms. Consuming foods that are rich in iron, such as jocotes, can help to prevent or treat anemia by increasing the body’s supply of this important nutrient and supporting the process of oxygenation of cells
May Help In Relieving Spasms
Jocotes are a good source of several essential nutrients, including vitamins, potassium, and calcium. These nutrients may help to reduce spasms, which are involuntary contractions of the muscles that can be caused by a deficiency of minerals such as potassium and calcium. By providing the body with adequate amounts of these nutrients, jocotes may be able to help alleviate spasms and improve overall muscle function.
What Does Jocote Taste Like?
When they are ripe, they are creamy and taste like a mix of a plum, a mango, and a Granny Apple. Think of sweet and sour. If they’re not ripe, they’re sour! To combat the puckering sourness of green jocotes, many locals sprinkle on a little of salt.
How To Eat Jocote?
Although jocote fruits are often consumed in their natural, raw, and ripe state, they can also be boiled down into a syrup or “honey” along with sugar and sometimes other fruits. Use this as a topping for ice cream or frozen yogurt for a tasty treat.
When fruit is ripe, it changes color from a dark yellow to a reddish brown (depending on the kind) Unripe fruit ranges from pale yellow to green and is enjoyed with a dash of salt, lime juice, or pickled in vinegar.
When it’s ripe, you can eat both the skin and the flesh, just like a plum minus the big seed inside. The skin is about as thick as the skin of a plum, but it is very soft and easy to chew. There have been up to 50 different kinds of jocote fruit found in Central America alone, but all of them are good for you.
In Costa Rica, it is common to eat ripe jocote fruit with salt. In Salvadoran cuisine, a traditional dish made with jocotes is a syrup made from panela, which is a type of molasses made by boiling cane juice and evaporating the water until it becomes a thick, sticky consistency. The resulting molasses is poured into wooden molds and allowed to cool, then wrapped in dry corn husk leaves called “tuzas” and sold in markets.
Origin Of Jocote.
Jocote fruit is native to tropical regions of the Americas, including Mexico, Peru, Brazil, and the West Indies. It can also be found in El Salvador, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. In the Philippines, it was introduced by Spanish explorers and has become popular. Jocote trees can be found growing wild in dry forests and pastures, as well as cultivated in gardens where they are often used as living fences.
They can grow in a variety of soil types, including limestone-based and soil rich in gravel, sand, or loam, and can thrive at altitudes up to 1800 meters above sea level. They are known to be effective at preventing soil erosion. Jocotes can be grown from seeds, but it may be easier to propagate them using large cuttings planted upright in the soil.
What Season Are Jocotes Available In?
The season and availability of jocotes may vary depending on the region where they are grown. In general, jocotes are typically harvested in the fall and winter months, although they may be available throughout the year in frozen form or from specialized farms.
During the winter months, they are often sold in large quantities at roadside stands, grocery stores, and vegetable shops. In some areas, jocotes may be more difficult to find outside of their natural growing season. If you are looking for jocotes and are unsure of their availability in your area, you may want to check with local farms, farmers’ markets, or specialty food stores.