The Sapodilla (La sapotille)
Let me introduce to you a tasty fruit you can enjoy when visiting Guadeloupe Archipelago: The sapodilla
The sapodilla is coming from Central America. The cultivation has spread all over the Bahamas, Bermuda, the southern part of Florida and West Indies islands including Guadeloupe Archipelago. Although, the scientific name is “Manilkara zapota”, the sapodilla has different names depending on the area they are coming from. It is known as “Zapote” in Honduras; “Níspero” in Dominican Republic; Cuba and Puerto Rico; “Dilly” in the Bahamas; “Naseberry” in Jamaica; “Sapoti” in Brazil and Haiti and finally “Chicosapote” in Mexico and Southern Florida. The French translation in Guadeloupe is “Sapotille”
The sapodilla tree is slow-growing and can take from five to eight years to bear fruit. As a long-lived and strong tree, the sapodilla can reach 30 metres height with an average trunk diameter of 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) wind resistant. The ornamental leaves are medium green and glossy. The sapodilla can only survive in warm and tropical regions.
The sapodilla fruit is a berry that weights between 75 and 120 grams. With it brown skins it looks like the kiwi. The unripe fruit is hard to the touch and contains high amounts of saponin, which is drying out the mouth. Once ripen the flesh turns brown. The fruit has an exceptionally sweet, malty flavour and can be described as a pear that has been sopping in brown sugar. Indeed, the sapodilla is very sweet. As one of the highest calorie fruits; 100 grams provides 83 calories (almost same like sweet potatoes and bananas).
The sapodilla contains a good amount of antioxidant vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin A. Quick reminder: Vitamin A is essential for vision; it is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A has been known to offer protection from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Additionally, consumption of foods containing vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents.
A fresh ripe sapodilla is also a good source of minerals like potassium, copper or iron.