Sapodilla (ละมุด)

(Manilkara zapota)

Sapodilla is another one Thai fruit that resembles potatoes with its unremarkable look. This time “potatoes” have the taste of figs.

Taste of sapodilla

Sapodilla has sweet taste that has nothing special about it – this way taste dates, fresh figs and persimmon. Some varieties of sapodilla have a slight taste of caramel. The flesh is juicy and rather tender, its consistence reminds of a kiwi (that part that has no seeds) or of a peach that is not too juicy. Sapodilla has no specific aroma.

From one hand sapodilla has a good chance to become favorite fruit of those people who are quite conservative in food (I mean Europeans, Russians etc), from the other hand, after one has tasted fruits like mangosteen, salacca or pineapple, one may find sapodilla’s taste too boring.

A box of sapodillas
Box of sapodillas in fruit market in Pattaya

How to choose, transport & store

Unripe sapodilla fruit have harder skin than ripe ones. One should avoid unripe sapodillas as they have astringent effect. Ripe fruit are equally soft and their skin should be smooth: with no cracks or dints. Depending on variety sapodillas can be of oval (these are the most common in Thailand) or round shape while the colour of the flesh of ripe fruit may vary from pale yellow to brown.

As sapodillas are not protected with hard rind, they shouldn’t be squeezed during transportation. Sapodilla can be stored in a fridge for not more than 1,5 weeks.

Sapodilla tree
Sapodilla tree

How to eat sapodilla

The only edible thing about sapodilla fruit is its flesh – seeds and skin are inedible. That’s why sapodilla is often sold being peeled and cut. If you have bought whole fruit, the quickest and easiest way is to cut sapodilla in segments (like one does it with unpeeled orange or melon), take all seeds out and eat the flesh until you reach the skin. Also you can peel sapodila first (like one does it with potatoes).

Be careful with seeds of sapodilla: they have little hooks that can catch in the throat if swallowed.

Usually sapodillas are consumed fresh. The tree of sapodilla is also the source of latex that is used for chicle (natural gum, one of ingredients for chewing gum).

When and where to find

In Thailand sapodilla bears fruit up to 2 times a year. So one has opportunity to find these fruit almost all year round. The price starts from 25 THB/kg.

Sapodilla inside

Source of picture without FalkTime watermark: Wikipedia.

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