Jack had told me about growing up eating mamey (pronounced Mah-MAY) in his childhood. When we've considered getting some fruit tree starts, Mamey has been among those at the top of the list. Even though it's native to our tropical clime, we rarely see it in the stores, or even grown here locally. Perhaps it's not prone to a lengthy shelf-life? Or maybe public tastebuds don't consider it a trendy enough exotic fruit?
I don't know, but I do know that a couple days ago, we spied two among the few other tropical fruits in the local grocery store, and purchased them. I've never tasted mamey, and it's been years since Jack has.
Here's what one looks like...
It's quite a bit smaller than Jack remembers having in his youth, and the color is pale in comparison with homegrown ones that are nearly ruby, or a deep rich orange flesh inside. Here is what it looked like when sliced open. It is ripe when a bit softened, sort of like an avocado or cantaloupe, and has much the same texture of either of those, or like a papaya.
We don't know if the seed will easily germinate, and whether or not the resulting seedling would grow into a fruit-bearing tree, or a sterile one. Even if not sterile, some mamey trees bear inferior-tasting fruit, and it's sort of the luck of the draw on that score. Still, Jack's proven to have a truly green thumb with finicky seeds, as our (now four!) mangoes have proven. He's wanting to try out the mamey seeds...just to see :) You can see in this picture that the seed easily separates from the flesh of the fruit.
The fruit slices easily, as easily as an avocado, and the skin is easy to remove. It's not as flavorful as Jack remembers homegrown fruit being, but he still greatly enjoyed it. To me, it had an initial impression of cantaloupe flavor, with a hint of papaya, but mostly tasted like a juicy peach. Hard to explain, but I liked it much more than a papaya...I still haven't quite acquired a taste for those yet. So far, my favorite "exotic" fruit is a mango or a blood orange. But these, if they grew in my yard, would definately get eaten. I'm guessing they'd be quite delicious in about anything a mango would, and would make a great salsa and smoothies to boot.
The seed's soaking, and this is a picture of the last of the mamey, before they were scarfed down and moaned over for a few moments by my appreciative husband. Kind of like me with an heirloom tomato...