Jocote? Mombin? What it tastes like – how to eat it – and facts 

Jocote? Mombin? What it tastes like – how to eat it – and facts

Jocote, Mombin, Ciruela, Spanish Plums, Red Hog Plums – we’ll just call it Jocote

These fruits are a species of the cashew family. It’s usually called jocote (a derivation of the Nahuatl word: xocotl, which means sour fruits). They are just making their way to Miami. Which is a good thing, because they are tasty.

What does the jocote taste like?

When they are ripe, they are creamy and taste like a cross between a plum and a mango with a spot of Granny Apple to it. Think sweet and sour. If they aren’t ripe, they are tart! You can still eat them, but get ready to pucker your mouth! Think sour sour sour!

How to eat mombin and what does mombin taste like
Photo credit: Leoadec

How do I eat jocote?

When it is ripe, you can eat the skin and the flesh just as you would a plum (ignoring the big seed inside). To tell if it is ripe, the fruit will be dark yellow to red when it ripens (depending on the kind) When it is unripe, the fruit is light yellow to green and usually eaten with some salt and lime juice or pickled in vinegar.

A good jocote recipe

The Nicaraguan dessert called Almibar – where jocotes, papaya, mangoes and currents meet peppercorns and cinnamon. Think heavy syrup, hips-growing good! Oh. My!

Fun Jocote Fact

Macerated in rum, they make delicious punches. 

It can be used as an appetite suppressant. (Eat one before a meal!)

Young leaves, acidic, can be cooked fresh or as a vegetable.

In Mexico, unripe fruits are made into a tart, green sauce called Chamoy (think Siracha for weaklings – but still, oh, so tasty), or are pickled in vinegar and eaten with salt and chili peppers.

Where to find Jocote / Ciruela / Mombin / Spanish Plums in Miami?

The Redland Market.


Learn about other exotic fruits in Miami

what jocote tastes like how to cook jocote
Photo credit: Adriana Nascto

Photo credit: Adriana Nascto, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit: Leoadec, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons