The other day my neighbor brought by lemons, oranges and caimitos (Chrysophyllum cainito) from his orchard. I already envisioned the fresh squeezed juice from the lemons and oranges, but the caimitos were something new. My curiosity got the better of me, so I immediately sliced one in half and scooped out the slippery fruit inside with a teaspoon. The skin is inedible. It had such a unique and delicious flavor that I continued until I finished all three. The property where I am living also has caimito trees, but they aren’t ready to eat yet.
A caimito (pronounced “kai-mee-toe,” with an emphasis on the “mee”) looks like a dark fig on the outside, but then, when you slice it open, it resembles a white creamy plum with a black coffee bean-like seed inside. The taste reminds me of cherimoya. The white sappy substance is probably responsible for making your lips sticky. It’s not an unpleasant stickiness, but more like a tacky tape feel, which goes away after a few lip smacks. The caimito belongs to the tropical Sapotaceae family and is also known as a star apple. When cut in half transversely, rather than lengthwise, the white part of the fruit reveals a star shape.