Sapodilla, also known as manilkara zapota, originated in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, but is now grown in large quantities in the Philippines, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia and Bangladesh. It has many other names, such as mispel in the Virgin Islands; zapote in Honduras; nispero in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Panama, Columbia and Venezuela, among others; dilly in the Bahamas; naseberry in Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean; sapoti in Brazil and Haiti; lamoot in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos; chicosapote in Mexico, Hawaii and Florida; and even other names in other parts of the world. The only name for it I'd heard of was sapodilla, but I had no idea what the fruit was like.
It is named one of the 1001 Foods You Must Taste Before You Die (Frances Case, page 79) and is said to taste like honey and caramel, or a cross between brown sugar and root beer.
It is about the shape of an egg, with a stem, and has a fuzzy/scruffy brown skin and looks kind of like a potato.
|They even get little blemishes on them like potatoes do.|
The inside of the fruit is pale yellow to brown and has a grainy texture like a pear. Each fruit contains from one to six black seeds with a hook on one end that can catch in the throat if swallowed.
|These are the discarded seeds and rind from that preparation.|
These sapodillas were provided to me by C.c. Claudia, the queen of exotic fruit and one of the most creative people I know. It is very delicious. We are traveling to the Caribbean in March and I'm hoping that I can try the nispero in Puerto Rico and mispel in the Virgin Islands and see how they are prepared and combined into products there.