Sapodilla is an Asian fruit with a sweet taste slightly similar to a pear. Sapodilla (Manilkara achras), whilst not a native Asian fruit, is widely grown in many Asian countries. Apart from its fruit, the Sapodilla tree is famous for another byproduct, chicle, a latex type sap which at one time was the main ingredient in chewing gum.


Sapodilla has many cultivars and the fruit can be round or oval in shape. Although the skin of a Sapodilla fruit is smooth it is covered with a brownish “fuzz” which in a few varieties partially sheds when the fruit is ripe.

The unripe fruit is hard and astringent but when ripe the flesh softens and becomes very sweet. The flesh of a ripe Sapodilla fruit can be yellow,brown or dark brown with a slightly grainy texture. The best way to tell if a Sapodilla fruit is ripe and ready to eat is to scratch off a little of the brown fuzz to see the colour of the skin beneath. If green the fruit is not ripe, if brown and slightly soft to the touch then the fruit is ripe.

Sapodilla is normally eaten fresh by cutting the fruit in half and scooping out the flesh with a spoon. Care must be taken to avoid eating the 2-7 black seeds inside as they have a tiny hook which could make them stick in your throat. Once ripe, Sapodilla fruit does not have good keeping qualities and should be eaten within a few days.

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