Know your tropical fruit- Sapodilla

sapodilla fruit from placencia produce stand

Lessons from the veggie stand!  Sure you can point out a pineapple or pick up a coconut but do you know what this is?  Yes, it’s taken me THIS long to find out what sapodilla is.  I’m just getting comfortable enough with my local veggie stand guy to ask– what is this? How do I eat it?

I’m slightly embarrassed when I browse the fruit and veg stands.  As many North Americans, I grew up rather removed from my food source—the tropical fruit I was accustomed to came in a can.  Now I have a hard time telling a turnip from jicama.  There are loads of things on offer in Belize that I either can’t identify, or I have no idea how to prepare (someone show me how to cook chocho!).

I need to make a real effort to branch out from the easily identifiable and try more unusual and exotic produce.  I saw this rather ugly, unassuming, potato-looking thing at the veg stand this week.  I picked IT up and put my pride down and asked the question: “what is this?”

I asked Noel, at Clive’s veggie stand, and he told me SAPODILLA!  He said it was a sweet fruit and it was his very favorite.  Of course, I had to try it.  Don’t eat the thin brown skin; Noel suggested cutting it in to wedges and eating the sections like an orange.  There is one seed you can discard.  The texture is odd… granular (?) and the taste is SWEET.  Sort of like a soft pear but grainier and cloyingly sweet, confectionary sweet- like the sugar cube of fruits!

I don’t hate it but it isn’t going to become my favorite.  I can see how kids growing up in southern Mexico, Belize, and northeastern Guatemala (sapodilla’s native habitat- thanks www.rainforest-alliance.org) might chose sapodilla as a fav fruit and how adults from the region might still carry a nostalgic affinity for the super sweet flavor.  I learned through a quick Google search that sapodilla isn’t renowned for its fruit anyway, it’s famous for it’s SAP!  A sticky substance known as chicle… as in, Chiclets the original chewing gum.

Did you know? Or am I just late to the game?

About the author

Megan Rodden

never met a vacation she didn't like. Megan is a self-centered, snarky, unambitious derelict... like most of her peers.

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© 2014 Megan Rodden and Phil Nagengast.