Tuesday, April 18, 2017
The Sapodilla - 'manilkara zapota' - fam: Sapotaceae
I LOVE these fruit. I ate them, at every opportunity, when I lived in Thailand, where they are called, 'Lamoot '.
The Sapodilla, 'manilkara zapota', is, strangely, not of the same family as the Black Sapote, 'diospyros digyna', fam: Ebenaceae, or the White Sapote, 'casimiroa edulis', fam: Rutaceae, but is of, and looks similar to, the Mamey Sapote ... (which is the same family) - besides that, the Sapodilla looks nothing like the Black Sapote (Chocolate Pudding Fruit) ! Go figure the naming system ?
The Sapodilla originated in Central America, and the Caribbean, and was introduced to the Philippines, during Spanish colonization. It is grown in large quantities in Pakistan, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Mexico1.
The fruit is a large berry, 4–8 cms (1½–3 in) in diameter. Inside, its flesh ranges from a pale yellow to an earthy brown color with a grainy texture akin to that of a well-ripened pear. Each fruit contains one to six seeds that are hard, glossy, and black, resembling beans, with a hook at one end that can catch in the throat if swallowed !!
The fruit has an exceptionally sweet, malty flavour. The unripe fruit is hard to the touch, and contains high amounts of saponin, which has astringent properties, similar to tannin, in that it dries out the mouth1.
Preparation is interesting as well. Sapodillas can be eaten fresh by simply cutting them in half, scooping out the flesh and removing the seeds, or, try and cut a "zig-zag" pattern in the fruit , around the middle, which affords you an ease of locating the seeds. This may be why the lamoot is favoured by many Thai Fruit Carvers. Also, a squeeze of lime, or lemon, will enhance the flavour. The flesh can be mashed and stirred into cream, or custard, or made into ice-cream, and mousses. It can also be added to cake, and pancake mix. Excellent when dried. The skin can also be eaten. 2
REFERENCES: Wikipedia 1 - Australian Tropical Foods 2