Jocote: The Good Fruit Guide View

The Jocote is a popular fruit in Central America and the Caribbean. The fruit has a thin skin which is purple-red or yellow when ripe. The flesh is juicy and acidic and can be eaten fresh (ripe or unripe), squeezed for juice or preserved.

In Mexico, there are reports that the Jocote tree is being planted in areas suffering from soil erosion (from

Other names, among many, for jocote are: mombin, red mombin, Spondia mobin, Spanish plum, ciruela, Hog plum,

In Nicaragua, there are two principal species of jocote, both with a large number of different varieties (the total number of varieties in Nicaragua is estimated at 50). One of the species, the yellow jocote, is harvested during the rainy season (July to September); and the other, the red jocote, is mostly available in the dry season (from

Photo by Rudy A. Girón –

Jocote - Directory of Varieties

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Jocote - How to Determine Quality

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Jocote - The Science

Description: Jocote are plum-like tree fruit related to the cashew. These are low-branched deciduous trees or large shrubs, easy to propagate from cuttings. The fruit is small and oval, about 4x3cm, with a thin skin and containing a large seed. On ripening the skin colour changes to purple, red, orange or yellow depending on the type. The flesh is yellow and quite fibrous, and adheres to the hard, rough stone. There is an aromatic, rich, sub-acid to acid flavour, some say often with a hint of turpentine. These fruit can be eaten unripe with salt and lime juice, but are sweet enough to be eaten as ripe fruit as well, with or without peel.

Family: Anacardiaceae

Species: Spondias purpurea

Origin: Native to tropical Central and South America

Handling & Storage:

Grown in: Central America, Caribbean, Hawaii, Philippines, Nigeria
Nicaragua: Pacific & Central regions
Mexico:  ‘Producers Jocote of the Central Valley of Chiapas, Rural Production Company Limited’; there are 457 growers in Acala, Chiapilla, Totolapa and Luke municipalities, covering 3,426 hectares producing about 5,000 metric tons (MT) of jocote (2011).

Harvest & Availability
Nicaragua: Yellow Jocote from July to September

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