Jocote The jocote is one of the most common fruit trees grown in Jalisco, Mexico. It's sometimes called the "jocote de montaña" (mountain jocote) because it can grow up to elevations of over 3000 feet (900 m).
The tree belongs to the family Sideroxylon obtusifolium. It's a medium to large tree which grows in the warmer areas of Mexico, from Oaxaca to San Luis Potosi and Guanajuato. In Jalisco, it is most often found in the mountains up to elevations between 3000 and 4000 feet (900-1200 m) or more.
The tree's fruits are small to medium-sized, with the most common variety being about 1.5 inches (4 cm) in diameter. The outside of the fruit is green or yellowish green and is covered with short hairs which can feel sticky if rubbed against your hand. However, they are actually harmless because the surface is very thin and easily broken off. The flesh is yellow to greenish-yellow and is richer in vitamins and minerals than most fruit – especially vitamin C – with a taste that combines tartness with sweetness. Some varieties are sweeter, but even the sweetest jocotes have enough acidity to make them refreshing.
The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked into jams, marmalades, candies, and preserves. The tree is also grown for its fruit because it grows easily in the wild or can be cultivated on plantations.
The jocote is very popular with people of all ages, especially children who like to eat them fresh, but many adults grow fond of them too. They are so tasty that you can't eat just one!
In Mexico, the jocote is a very popular fruit because it's available from July through August during its harvest season. However, you can buy them at other times of the year as long as they are imported from countries where they grow naturally. In most grocery stores in Mexico, they sell for about 10 pesos per kilo, but you can also buy them at stands along the street for about 1 peso per fruit.
When you eat a jocote, you'll notice that the center contains several small seeds, which are edible too. Some people leave them in because they are soft and crunchy like little balls of styrofoam that break easily between the teeth. Some people eat them quickly and spit them out because they get stuck in their dentures, while others swallow them.
Most Mexicans have a favorite variety of jocote that they prefer to eat, but I think all of them are excellent. The sweet ones tend to be less sour than the sour ones. If you're not sure how sour it is, just eat a little bit. If you like the taste, then it's sweet enough for you. If not, next time try another variety or wait until they are sweeter before trying them again!
Jocote fruit is very nutritious and rich in Vitamin C. The seeds provide extra health benefits because they contain oil with Vitamin E, proteins, and minerals. Some even recommend using them for cooking or in traditional medicines to treat stomach aches; inflammation; cuts; rashes; bug bites; coughs; colds; flu symptoms like fever, headache, sore throat, and runny nose; asthma attacks; heart disease risk factors such as high cholesterol and triglycerides; and even cancer.
Global jocote production
In recent years, jocote production has expanded to meet the global demand for fruit. Today, commercial jocote production takes place in several countries around the world, including Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador, Peru, and Costa Rica. In Mexico, the majority of jocotes are grown in the state of Veracruz. Guatemala is the second-largest producer of jocotes, with most of the fruit grown in the department of El Quiché. Honduras is the third-largest producer of jocotes, with production concentrated in the departments of Olancho and Francisco Morazán. Ecuador, Peru, and Costa Rica are also significant producers of jocotes.
The vast majority of jocotes produced commercially are sold fresh. However, a small percentage of the fruit is processed into products such as jams, jellies, and preserves. Jocote jam is a popular product in many parts of Latin America, and jocote jelly is also gaining in popularity. A limited amount of jocote juice is also produced and sold commercially.
Due to its relatively short shelf life, the majority of jocotes produced are consumed within the country of origin. However, a small percentage of jocotes are exported to other countries, primarily in North America and Europe. Jocotes are typically shipped frozen or canned, although fresh jocotes are sometimes available in specialty markets.