|Pouteria campechiana cross section|
Lucuma campechiana Knuth
|Nutritional value per 100 g|
|Energy||138.8 kcal (581 kJ)|
|Dietary fiber||.10 g|
Source: Laboratorio FIM de Nutricion in Havana
Pouteria campechiana (commonly known as the cupcake fruit or canistel) is an evergreen tree native to, and cultivated in, southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and El Salvador. It is cultivated in other countries, such as India, Costa Rica, Brazil, the United States, the Dominican Republic, Australia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, and the Philippines. The edible part of the tree is its fruit, which is colloquially known as an egg fruit.
The canistel grows up to 10 m (33 ft) high, and produces orange-yellow fruit, also called yellow sapote, up to 7 cm (2.8 in) long, which are edible raw. Canistel flesh is sweet, with a texture often compared to that of a hard-boiled egg yolk, hence its colloquial name "eggfruit". It is closely related to the lucuma, mamey sapote, and abiu.
The shape and size of the fruit is highly variable, depending on the cultivar. The better selections consistently produce large, ovate fruit with glossy skin weighing upwards of 400 g (14 oz). The flesh is somewhat pasty, although the best varieties have a creamy, mousse-like texture. The flavor is rich and is reminiscent of an egg custard. The fruit may contain one to six large, brown seeds.
The canistel displays climacteric fruit ripening. A fully mature fruit shows an intense yellow skin color. It eventually softens and drops from the tree. Insects and birds avoid the fruit flesh, perhaps because of its astringent properties, that are much reduced in senescent fruits, but still perceptible to the human palate. Apparently mature fruits severed from the tree while still hard often fail to develop the desired climacteric changes in terms of reduced astringency and a texture reminiscent of egg yolk.
Like the related lucuma, the canistel can be eaten fresh, and has the texture of a hard-boiled egg yolk. The ripe fruit can be made into jam, marmalade, pancakes, and flour. The ripe flesh is blended with milk and other ingredients to make a shake, and pureed, it is sometimes added to custards or used in making ice cream. It is also used in a milkshake known as "eggfruit nog".
In the numerous countries where it is cultivated or sold, it is known by many vernacular names; canistel is common, as are variations on egg fruit and names referring to its yellow color. In the Philippines, it is called chesa, tiessa, or atiesa. In Sri Lanka, this fruit is known as laulu, lavulu, or lawalu. In Thailand, it is known by different traditional popular names such as lamut Khamen (ละมุดเขมร="Khmer sapodilla") or tho Khamen (ท้อเขมร="Khmer peach"), folk imagination attributing a hypothetical Cambodian origin to this fruit (the name of the fruit is see da in Cambodia). Currently, those names are discouraged by linguistic authorities and names making no reference to Cambodia, such as tiesa (ทิสซา), are officially favored.
The fruit is also given names after its unique yellow colour similar to an egg yolk: it is known as the buah kuning telur ("yolk fruit") in Malay, cây trứng gà ("chicken egg plant") in Vietnamese, mon khai (ม่อนไข่, khai meaning "egg") in Thai and danhuang guo (蛋黃果 "egg yolk fruit")in Taiwan.
The Taiwanese also call this fruit xiantao (仙桃), "peach of the immortals".
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