Pouteria campechiana (commonly known as the 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 Costa Rica, Brazil, the United States, the Dominican Republic, Australia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, and the Philippines. The edible part of the tree is its fruit, which is colloquially known as an egg fruit.
|Pouteria campechiana cross section|
|Scientific classification |
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
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. This, and the fact that climacteric fruits quickly start to decay at ambient temperatures, may have contributed to the low economic importance of the canistel.
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".
The wood of the tree is occasionally used in construction where it is available, especially as planks or rafters. In its native range, it has been a source of latex used to adulterate chicle.
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 tiesa. 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 mon khai (ม่อนไข่) —Khai meaning "egg", or tiesa (ทิสซา), are officially favored.
The plant's name in the Vietnamese language is cây trứng gà ("chicken egg" plant) because of the fruit's appearance.
In Indonesian language, it is called alkesah, or sawo mentega (butter sapodilla, for its color and texture).
In Taiwan, it is called danhuang guo (蛋黃果), "egg yolk fruit" or xiantao (仙桃) "peach of the immortals".
- "Pouteria campechiana". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2014-02-26.
- Julia F. Morton (1987). "Canistel". Fruits of Warm Climates. pp. 402–405. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
- "Pouteria campechiana". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2009-01-29.
- T. K. Lim (2013). Edible Medicinal And Non-Medicinal Plants: Volume 6, Fruits. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 133–134. ISBN 9789400756281.
- Charles Boning (2006). Florida's Best Fruiting Plants: Native and Exotic Trees, Shrubs, and Vines. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, Inc. p. 53.
- D.K.N.G. Pushpakumara (2007). "Lavulu". Underutilized fruit trees in Sri Lanka (PDF). World Agroforestry Centre, South Asia Office, New Delhi, India.
- Tong Kwee Lim (15 February 2013). Edible Medicinal And Non-Medicinal Plants: Volume 6, Fruits. Springer. p. 134. ISBN 978-94-007-5628-1.
- 7 Health Benefits of Canistel