Sapodilla is known as an energy fruit. The reason for this is due to its rich sweetness.
The fruit looks like a small potato fresh out of the ground but with a scruffy brown peel. The flesh of the fruit is light brown with black, flat and glossy seeds. It has the texture of a pear, gritty, and exceptionally sweet with a pleasant malty flavour.
When it reaches its ripened stage, the skin will become soft and saggy. Then cut the fruit in half, discard the seeds and enjoy eating the flesh by scooping with a spoon.
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Other names, history and where to find this sweet exotic fruit
Scientific name: Manilkara zapota.
Also known as sapote, naseberry, nispero, chicle, bully tree, marmalade palm and chiku.
It’s grown in Mexico and in tropical countries such as India, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
In Sri Lanka, this fruit is usually available year-round but I haven’t seen it in abundance like other fruits. If you are lucky to spot some, then sample them and you won’t be disappointed.
Did you know that CHICLE, the latex obtained from the bark sapodilla’s tree was used as the main ingredient of chewing gum?
Sapodilla also has a number of nutritional benefits
Sapodilla is also a perfect anti-inflammatory agent. It has a high content of tannins, which helps in improving conditions of the digestive tract through the prevention of diseases like irritable bowel syndrome and gastritis.
The chemical compounds found in the flesh of the fruit help remove the phlegm and mucus from the nasal passage and the respiratory tract.
The fruit is also packed with Vitamin C which has amazing moisturising properties and is great for the skin.
According to the USDA, Sapodilla contains Folate, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper and Pantothenic acid (B5).
There aren’t many publicly available studies conducted on humans that can prove one way or the other, however, some related studies show promising results.
Super simple Sapodilla-shake
- 3 whole deseeded fruits
- 3/4 cup of Almond Milk, preferably cold
- 2 deseeded dates (optional)
Blend together and enjoy. That’s it.
Are sapodilla seeds toxic?
Studies such as Acute toxicity of seeds of the sapodilla (Achras sapota L.) show that the seeds can be toxic due to saponin content.
Sources and Resources
Sundayt Tmes Sri Lanka – Medi Sciencehttp://www.sundaytimes.lk/160918/mediscene/sapodilla-for-a-quick-energy-boost-208711.html
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE – Sapodilla, rawhttps://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167759/nutrients
Protective effect of lyophilized Manilkara zapota fruit extract against CCl4-induced liver damage in ratshttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7451601/
Acute toxicity of seeds of Achras sapota L.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0041010184901478