Tejocote Tejocote, Crataegus Mexicana , is a Mexican hawthorn and the name of a red fruit produced by the shrub. It has several local names: 'Corazón de Castilla' in Spanish, or 'heart of Castile', after one of its traditional places of origin; and its original Nahuatl name 'texocotl'.
The fruit resembles a small apple or quince and can be either red or yellow. It has a sweet-sour taste. Tejocote is used as an ingredient in some dishes such as mole de tejocote , a dark red sauce with the consistency of thick gravy usually served over turkey or other poultry at Christmas time. The fruit's English name is Mexican hawthorn.
This fruit has also been used to make jam, jelly, and marmalade. Tejocote is known as an anti-inflammatory plant (phytomedicine), it is mainly used for liver problems. Crushed seeds are put on wounds or skin infections to promote healing. As well, the crushed seeds can be mixed with a little oil as an analgesic for toothaches. In addition, it has been used as a sedative and diuretic for fever and kidney stones. Crataegus Mexicana is very rich in vitamin C which may explain its use as a natural preservative in jam making. Tejocote fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, minerals, and dietary fiber. It has antibacterial, antioxidant properties in vitro.
Like the apple, it is a pome fruit, usually spherical or conical with a size similar to that of quince (about 5–10 cm in diameter). The flesh is white, granular, and crispy. The skin is smooth, bright red or yellow depending on the variety. Some varieties are completely red with an astringent taste, others are yellowish and sweeter.
Tejocote fruit has a crunchy texture which makes it a popular ingredient in fresh fruit salads. It can be eaten alone or mixed with other ingredients. It is also used as an ingredient in some dishes such as mole de tejocote, a dark red sauce with the consistency of thick gravy usually served over turkey or other poultry at Christmas time.
Tejocote fruit has been traditionally eaten during the Day of the Dead festivities and Day of the Innocents to ward off bad spirits. This fruit is popular among children. The tree has ornamental value and can be planted as a small ornamental tree. It is native to Mexico but it grows well in Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Greece, and California. In Greece, Crataegus Mexicana grows wild in some areas.
Global tejocote production
Tejocote production is not limited to Mexico; the fruit is also grown in other parts of Central America, as well as in South America and the Caribbean. In addition, tejocotes are now being planted in California and Florida in the United States. While most of the tejocote crop is still used for traditional Mexican dishes, the fruit is becoming more popular in other parts of the world as well.
In Mexico, the tejocote harvest typically takes place from November to February. However, due to the increasing popularity of the fruit, tejocotes are now being harvested year-round. The peak season for tejocote production is still during the winter months, however.
Tejocote trees can live for up to 50 years and can reach a height of 15 feet (4.5 meters). The trees are relatively low-maintenance, and only need to be watered every few weeks. Tejocotes are self-pollinating, meaning that they do not require another tree in order to produce fruit.
The tejocote fruit is small, round, and has a hard, scaly outer shell. The flesh of the fruit is white or yellowish in color and is quite juicy. Tejocotes have a sweetness similar to that of apples, with a touch of acidity. The fruit can be eaten raw, cooked, or made into jams or jellies.
In Mexico, the tejocote is often used in traditional dishes such as pudding and compote. The fruit is also a popular ingredient in Christmas punch, as well as in various alcoholic beverages. Outside of Mexico, tejocotes are less commonly used in cooking but are still sometimes made into jams or used as decoration on cakes or other desserts.
Tejocote production has increased significantly in recent years due to the fruit's growing popularity both inside and outside of Mexico. The tejocote is a delicious and versatile fruit that can be used in many different ways. Whether you enjoy it raw, cooked, or in a beverage, the tejocote is sure to add a unique flavor to your next meal or snack.