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The Sapodilla Fruit

25 January 2012 2 Comments

The Sapodilla Fruit

Today’s Belize Photo of the Day is the Sapodilla Fruit and its scientific name is Marnilkara zapota. The Sapodilla fruit is native to Southern Mexico, Northeastern Guatemala, Belize and throughout Central America, and it is believed that the Spaniards introduced it long ago in tropical America and the West Indies.

The Sapodilla Fruit has an exceptionally sweet and malty flavor which ranges from caramel to a pear candied with brown sugar. It is usually round to egg-shaped and can grow up to 5 inches in diameter.  The unripe tropical fruit is hard to the touch, astringent, and contains  high amounts of saponin. As it ripens, the skin becomes brown and scruffy and the fruit’s flesh varies from a pale yellow to shades of brown with a smooth or granular texture.

Fun Fact of the Sapodilla Tree

The bark of the sapodilla tree is famous for making Chicle. Chicle, the white, gummy latex obtained from the bark has been used as a chewing gum for many years in Belize.

Photo taken by Naturalist Guide: Hilberto Tut

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