Sunday, January 29, 2017


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. 
Two sapodillas.
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. 
I watched a video showing a woman cutting a sapodilla into sections, then removing the rind and the seeds and stringy center with a knife. That is how I prepared and ate my first one. The taste that jumped out at me was caramel, but root beer also rings true. 
These are the discarded seeds and rind from that preparation. 
I had a second sapodilla that I let ripen several more days before eating it. I saw another video where the person ate it out of the rind with a spoon. You'll note less green and yellow and more dark brown in the flesh. The caramel taste did not jump out at me in the riper fruit. The flavor was deeper and less distinct. I actually preferred the less ripe fruit, but I'm guessing the riper fruit would be good in ice cream or other preparations where it is blended. 
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. 


  1. Texture of a pear but flavor of a peach. Sweet and yummy!

  2. It looks a little like a pear that's been left to ripen too long. Looking forward to a taste!