March 21

Zapote Negro “chocolate pudding”

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Zapote Negro, a variety of persimmon “Chocolate Persimmon”, is sometimes referred to as Chocolate Pudding Fruit in English, but that is a bit of a misnomer.

While it has the consistency, creaminess and rich color of chocolate pudding, in a blind test, one wouldn’t likely confuse its flavor with chocolate. It is slightly sweet, a bit floral, with a marked earthiness and little complexity. However, it can be transformed into the healthy chocolate pudding of your dreams with just a little tweaking!

Zapote Negro “Chocolate Pudding”

The key to this simple, creamy pudding is the technique of pushing the pulp through a strainer, leaving the tiny fibers behind. The result is a light, smooth base ready for infinite flavor additions. I kept it simple here, but Zapote Negro also pairs famously well with orange, adding the juice to the pulp is a common children's snack in many parts of Mexico. 

  • Spoon, Mesh strainer, Bowl
  • 2 cups strained Zapote Negro pulp (about 2 large fruits.)
  • ½ cup Cocoa powder, or raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp honey or other liquid sweetener (to taste)
  • ½ cup coconut milk, or plant-based creamy beverage (to achieve consistency)
  • 1 tsp ground canela or other warm spices like allspice, (optional)
  1. To strain Zapote Negro, cut in half or pull open ripe fruit. Use a spoon to scrape the pulp away from the thin skin. If some skin is left, that’s ok.

  2. Discard the skin and stem, and place the rest, including the seeds, into a fine mesh strainer. Using the back of the spoon, press the pulp through the strainer into a bowl that the strainer sits well with. Continue to press and scrape the underside of the strainer until just the seeds and fibrous parts of the pulp remain. This strained pulp can be frozen and used for smoothies, pudding, ice creams and sauces.

  3. Add the remaining ingredients to your desired sweetness and consistency. Chill and serve.

  4. Serve topped with fruit, toasted grated coconut, chopped nuts, a sprinkle of cinnamon or a whipped topping of your choice.

Hachiya persimmon can be substituted for similar results.

You can use raw, ground cacao powder, or baking cocoa powder for this recipe. You will just adjust sweetness and add other flavorings according to your personal taste.


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