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The Zapote is a small fruit, roughly one to three inches in diameter with a smooth brown exterior. The rind is tough but when peeled away reveals a vibrant orange flesh. It tastes somewhat like a fig, in terms of sweetness and an avocado, in terms of texture. The Zapote has anywhere from two to five hard, inedible black seeds in the center of the fruit. The flesh is a deep orange that can be somewhat stringy. When unripe, the fruit contains high amounts of saponin, an astringent that can dry out the mouth. When ripe, the Zapote is soft to the touch and emits a sweet aroma.
The Zapote is available year-round, with peak seasons in the early spring and late fall.
The Zapote is known by many names, the Sapodilla in America, Chico Zapote in Central America, the Dilly in Great Britain, and the Chicle in Mexico. A byproduct of the Zapote tree is a gummy latex referred to as “chicle” which has been used as the main ingredient in chewing gum for decades and dates back to the ancient Central American culture, the Mayas.
The Zapote is most often eaten fresh, out of hand. In Central America it is blended with milk, ice, sugar or water for a refreshing beverage. The fruit of a Zapote can be mashed and used to make custards or blended into smoothies. It freezes well and can also be used in fillings for pies, crumbles and ice cream. The skin and seeds are inedible.
The Zapote was first mentioned by the Spaniards after their conquest of Central America in the 16th century. Its origin is within the tropical rainforests of that region, where the native Mayan descendents highly regarded the fruit. Now, the Zapote can be found throughout Central America, Mexico, India and a few parts of southern Florida. Its wood has been used for lumber, cabinetry and furniture in Central America, though it is generally only harvested for the fruit. The fruit thrives in the warmer, equatorial regions and cultivation in the US has been limited.
Recipes that include Zapotes. One is easiest, three is harder.
|The Opulent Opossum||Mamey Sapote Ice Cream|
|Sailu's Kitchen||Chikku (Sapota) Milkshake|
People have shared Zapotes using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
Produce Sharing allows you to share your produce discoveries with your neighbors and the world! Is your market carrying green dragon apples? Is a chef doing things with shaved fennel that are out of this world? Pinpoint your location annonymously through the Specialty Produce App and let others know about unique flavors that are around them.
Near Bogor, West Java, Indonesia
About 63 days ago, 12/05/22
Euro supermercado Jardines De LlanograndeAntioquia, Colombia
Km8, Via Don Diego, Llanogrande Rionegro Antioquia
About 141 days ago, 9/18/22
Sharer's comments : Zapote colombiano!
Carulla Near Itagui, Antioquia, Colombia
About 185 days ago, 8/05/22
Sharer's comments : Zapote Colombiano en temporada
Little Italy Mercato
Gilbert and Lee FarmsNear San Diego, California, United States
About 191 days ago, 7/30/22
Legumbrería La FrescuraNear Itagui, Antioquia, Colombia
Plaza La America Medellin
About 236 days ago, 6/15/22
Sharer's comments : Zapote!
Rancho Santa Fe Farmers Market
Atkins NurseryNear Fairbanks Ranch, California, United States
3129 Reche Rd, Fallbrook, CA
About 281 days ago, 5/01/22
Sharer's comments : WHITE zapote!!
Rionegro, Antioquia Antioquia, Colombia
About 323 days ago, 3/20/22
Sharer's comments : Otra variedad de Zapote, nativo de la zona costera Colombiana