Sapote, Ungurahui y Macambo

Taken from the cookbook Central, Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez crafts a sapote dish filled with macambo seeds.

“Imagine walking through the forest with the sweetness of the fallen fruits enveloping your senses, and reaching down through the green plants to collect macambo seeds off the ground. This, essentially, is that dish.” —Virgilio Martinez

Adapted from Central by Virgilio Martinez, Phaidon. Click here to purchase your own copy of Virgilio Martinez’s new cookbook Central.


  • 300 g sacha culantro
  • 1 L milk
  • 100 g macambo seeds
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 350 g cacao crystals
  • 220 g cacao butter, softened
  • 100 g ungurahui dye
  • 400 g sapote, ripe
  • nasturtium flowers, to serve
  • malvas flowers, to serve
  • pentas flowers, to serve

Serves 4


  1. Preheat the oven to 120°C (248°F). Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat.
  2. For the Sapote (cont.): In a pot of boiling water, blanch the sacha culantro for 3 seconds. Drain, transfer to a blender, and blend to obtain a thick paste. Spread the paste on
    the lined baking sheet to a 1 mm (1/16–inch) thickness. Bake for 10 minutes until dry. Transfer the cracker to a cooling rack and let cool until crispy.
  3. For the Sapote (cont.): In a pot, combine the milk and macambo and warm over medium heat. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with 200 g of the cacao crystals until combined. Beat some hot milk mixture into the yolk mixture to temper it, then pour the custard into the pot. Return the pot to low heat and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes until thick. Remove from the heat, transfer the custard to a Pacojet beaker, and freeze.
  4. For the Sapote (cont.): In a saucepan, melt the remaining 150 g cacao crystals over medium heat. Mix the softened cacao butter with the melted cacao crystals and the ungurahui dye. Cool in a cylinder mold that is 15 cm (6 inches) high and 6 cm (2½ inches) in diameter.
  5. For the Sapote (cont.): Using a vegetable peeler, shave ribbons from the molded ungurahui mixture. Peel the sapote and remove its pulp. Using a blender, purée the pulp and spread it in the lined tray. Dehydrate the pulp for 5 hours at 60°C (140°F) until dry. When ready to serve, pass the macambo–cacao ice cream through the Pacojet.
  6. For the Sapote (cont.): Place a scoop of the macambo–cacao ice cream in each bowl and cover with the sacha culantro crackers, ungurahui shavings, sapote sheets, and roasted macambo.