Sapota

Common Name

Sapota/Sapodilla

Kingdom

Plantae

Division

 

Class

 

Order

Ericales

Family

Sapotaceae

Genus

Achras/Manilkara

Species

sapota/zapota

Native

Central America and South Mexico.

Characteristics

Sapodilla fruits are large oval-shaped berries, with a diameter of 4-8 cm. They look like a potato. Inside the fruit are 2-5 black bean-like seeds with a hook on one end. Fruiting occurs twice a year. The sweet flesh is very tasty. It has a pale yellowish to earth brown color. The texture is grainy resembling a pear.

Distribution

Central America, Mexico, India, Philippines.

Climate and weather

Sapodillas are not strictly tropical and mature trees can withstand temperatures of 26° to 28° F for several hours. Young trees are more tender and can be killed by 30° F. The sapodilla seems equally at home in humid and relatively dry environments.

Duration

 

Insect pests

Bark-borer, Mealybugs, galechid caterpillar and Fruit flies

Diseases

 

Harvesting

 

Uses

Generally, the ripe sapodilla, unchilled or preferably chilled, is merely cut in half and the flesh is eaten with a spoon. It is an ideal dessert fruit as the skin, which is not eaten, remains firm enough to serve as a "shell". Care must be taken not to swallow a seed, as the protruding hook might cause lodging in the throat. The flesh, of course, may be scooped out and added to fruit cups or salads. A dessert sauce is made by peeling and seeding ripe sapodillas, pressing the flesh through a colander, adding orange juice, and topping with whipped cream. Sapodilla flesh may also be blended into an egg custard mix before baking.

Symptoms

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