something of a shock when I first tried it.
Cutting up the egg-shaped fruit and scooping a
piece into my mouth with a spoon, I was
immediately taken back to my early childhood when
I used to help my mom prepare baked deserts.
My task - mostly to keep my busy and out of
trouble - was inevitably to stir the ingredients
up, and a common blend was brown sugar and butter.
I would always end up getting some on me, and so
I'd lick it off.
I've been eating a healthy
raw food diet since 2005, so it's been a
long time since I've tasted refined sugar or butter,
but tasting Sapodilla immediately brought me be
back to that wonderful taste, with an additional
hint of pear thrown in.
Manilkara Zapota is the
scientific name for the Fruit we call Sapodilla.
It originated in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, where
it grows abundantly in the the wild mangrove
swamps and other areas. It's classified as a
member of family Sapotaceae, making it related to mamey sapote,
egg fruit (canistel), star apples, and and number
of other fruits from the Americas.
Although I'd tasted it in Florida, it wasn't
until I came to Indonesia in 2010 that I saw just
how amazingly abundant these fruit trees are.
The evergreen trees often grow to more than 30
feet on farms and as high 100 feet in the wild,
and are a lot of fun to climb and feast in. In
season they produce what seems like an endless
supply of fruit, usually broken up into two
In Thailand, Sapodilla is a commonly-grown fruit
and a favorite of farmers because its so resistant
to molds and insects. Often they don't have to
bother with chemical pesticides and fungicides.
The fruit looks like a small potato,
and varies in size from 1.5 to 4 inches in
Especially when unripe, it's hard, highly
astringent, and sappy with latex, but the
astringency disappears as it ripens and the latex
lessens dramatically (but you'll probably still
You'll know the fruit is ready to eat when it's
as soft as a very ripe kiwi fruit (giving easily
When it's ripe, the inside flesh should be dark
brown. You'll usually find four bean-shaped black
seeds inside, but the flesh.
The flavor is like a malty pear dipped in butter
and sugar, and absolutely delicious. If you get
the chance, check them out.
Although mostly grown in the tropics and
subtropics and generally not shipped as part of
fruit distribution system of Europe and the
US, you can find it at farmer's markets in
southern Florida, where it grows well, as well as
south of the border in Mexico.
If you're a new raw foodist, you probably want to
know about the caloric content so you can make
sure you're hitting
your caloric goals.
The fruit has roughly 83 calories per 100 grams.
To put that into perspective, the same quantity of
cavendish banana has 85 calories. An orange has
49. In other words, sapodilla is quite calorically
awesome fruits like Sapodilla.
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