Sandoricum koetjape, Kra Thon, Katon, the santol, sentul or cotton fruit, is a tropical fruit native to maritime Southeast Asia.
Santol fruits are round to ovate, averaging 4 to 7 centimeters in diameter, and have a slightly flattened shape. The skin is leathery, somewhat fuzzy, and wrinkled, ripening from green to golden yellow, and is sometimes covered in a red blush. Underneath the surface, the thickness of the peel will vary depending on the variety, and can be thin and fibrous or thick and spongy. Santol fruits also have a translucent to white pulp that encases 3 to 5 inedible seeds. The pulp has a cotton-like consistency and is juicy, slippery, and soft. Santol fruits range in flavor from sour to very sweet, depending on maturity and variety. The sweetest Santol fruits have a candy-like taste with mild peach and apple notes, while in the sour varieties, a strong umami aftertaste may linger on the palate.
Santol fruits are a good source of iron, which is a mineral that can help move oxygen in the blood and fiber, which can help regulate digestion. The fruits also contain calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C.
Santol fruits are best suited for raw applications as their sweet and sour flavors are showcased when consumed fresh, out-of-hand. To eat raw, the flesh can be sucked from the seeds, but caution should be taken not to swallow the seeds as they are inedible. The flesh can also be sprinkled with salt and spices and consumed as a snack, or it can be soaked in fruit juices and blended into a beverage. In addition to raw applications, Santol fruits can be cooked into jellies, jams, and syrups, canned for extended use, cooked into chutney, or candied as a sweet treat. The rind and flesh are also used in cooking to add a slightly bitter flavor to curries, sauces, and soups. In Filipino cuisine, Santol is grated and cooked in coconut milk in a dish known as Sinantolan. Santol fruits pair well with flavors like coconut, citrus, lemon, lime, ginger, sugar, and tamarind. The fruits will keep for up to three weeks when stored whole at room temperature.
Santol fruit is available in the late spring through fall.