Also known as Nispero, Chikoo, Zapotillo, Sapota, Naseberry, Sepadilla, Zapote, and Chico Sapote. The tropical sapodilla is oblong in shape, about three to five inches long, and two to four inches wide. The thin, brown skin is sometimes covered with fuzz that disappears as it ripens, and is inedible. The somewhat grainy flesh can range in color from yellowish orange to reddish brown and its texture is soft and juicy when ripe. The center of the fruit contains a seed cavity which holds between three and twelve brown seeds that are inedible. The unique flesh of a sapodilla is sweet with a faint squash-like fragrance, with hints of molasses and pear. The texture and flavor have been compared to that of a pear. Sapodillas have dietary fiber and vitamin C, along with other antioxidants, and are typically available year-round.
Ripening and Storage:
Sapodillas should ripened at room temperature and are ready to eat when they are firm with a slight give to the touch. Ripe sapodillas should be kept in the refrigerator and used within a week. The flesh can also be frozen, though this may alter the taste and texture.
The skin and the seeds of a sapodilla are not edible. Sapodillas are usually eaten fresh. Cut the fruit in half and the flesh can be scooped out with a spoon. They can be eaten chilled or at room temperature.
Enjoy fresh or in a variety of ways. Sapodilla flesh can be used in both fruit and green salads, preserved in jams and jellies, pureed and added to custards, puddings, and other desserts, and added to pancake batter, muffins, quick breads, and other baked goods. Frozen sapodilla flesh can be blended into smoothies, milkshakes, sauces, and other blended applications.