The pulp has a sweet, almond-like, unique flavor.
Different cultivars produce at different times of the year and planting of 3-4 cultivars may suffice to have mature fruit year-round (e.g., 'Tazumal', 'Pace', 'Magana', and 'Pantin'):
- Pace, season Mar.-Apr., Excellent flavor, Tall tree, High yield, Precocious! Small fruit vs. large fruit for Magana, spring mamey like Magana. Fruit ripens evenly vs. Magana. Fruits every year vs. every other year for Magana. Pace is a cross between Magana and Tazumal. It has the smaller size and productivity of Tazumal, but it ripens evenly vs. Tazumal and Magana. Developed in 1970's.
- Magana - season April-May, Good flavor, Small/slow growing tree, High yield. Precocious! Enormous fruit, up to 5-6 pounds. Uneven ripening can be a problem. To make sure the fruit is ready to ripe, scratch the surface at the neck - it must be pink or red (not green). Spring mamey like Pace. Magana was developed by the Magana family in El Salvador.
- Pantin (old name: Key West), season July-Aug, Excellent flavor, Tall tree, Medium yield. Summer mamey like Pace. The original tree is apparently still standing next to Key West fire station as of 2019, hence the name, Key West.
- Lara, summer mamey like Pace. Blood-red color.
- 'Abuelo', season Oct.-Nov., Excellent flavor, Spreading tree, Medium flavor
- Tazumal, season Jan.-Feb., Good flavor, Medium tree, High yield. Tazumal is the only mamey to fruit in winter in Florida. The tree is very hard to find as of 2019. It is not very popular because the fruit ripens unevenly. Uneven ripening is similar to Magana.
- Florida', season Mar.-Apr., Good flavor, Tall tree, High yield
In Florida, there are two main varieties:
- spring mamey - Magana, Pace
- summer mamey - Pantin/Key West, Lara
Tazumal is the most productive variety but the fruit is small, although numerous. Here is a scientific paper from University of Puerto Rico comparing the top 4 commercial cultivars: http://buff.ly/2sfNfnI. They all reached their commercial potential in terms of production by year 5 after planting.
Many of the newer Mamey sapote varieties were developed by Pablo Lara at Lara Farms in Homestead, for example, Pace and Lara. If you go, the nursery is cash only. Here is the info: http://www.larafarms.com -- As of 2019, they are evaluating up to 10-15 new mamey varieties.
Mamey trees have the reputation of slow growers. Julian Lara offered the following tips in the video below in 2019: use fertilizer 20-20-20 every month, water with fresh water (no standing water, quick drainage area), water with liquid fertilizer every 2-4 weeks (1 even scoop Miracle-Gro in 1 gallon of water): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSIOOYXMBMQ
Mamey Sapote with The Tropical Fruit Growers of South Florida (video):
How to tell when a Mamey Sapote is ripe:
FC30/MG331: Mamey Sapote Growing in the Florida Home Landscape http://buff.ly/2ncz1RF
'Pace' Mamey Sapote http://buff.ly/2mk8XH2
The Mamey Sapote in South Florida http://buff.ly/2mkdOru
Pouteria sapota, Mamey, Mamey Sapote - http://buff.ly/2mjYEmi
Mamey Sapote http://buff.ly/2mki8Hn
Yield and Fruit Quality Traits of Mamey Sapote Cultivars Grown at Two Locations in Puerto Rico http://buff.ly/2sfNfnI