A soft and edible fruit, sapote is native to Central America and the northern parts of South America. There are many different species of this fruit, and most of these belong to the Ebenaceae and Sapotaceae family. It is highly nutritious and should be used in recipes like salads, desserts, smoothies, and others.
It is best to eat this fruit when it is fresh. A chilled and fresh sapote cut into a wedge shape is used for serving. Many people find the flavor of this fruit similar to that of caramel. Owing to the different varieties and types, the flavor and skin color vary a lot. Given below are some more facts.
White Sapote Fruit
This fruit belongs to the type called drupe. It is a part of the Rutaceae family and has the botanical name Casimiroa edulis. Drupes are made up of an outer fleshy part that surrounds a hard shell. Development of these fruits takes place from a single carpel. Their diameter is 5-10 cm depending on the variety. Their skin is initially yellow, and turns red at the time of ripening; it is very thin and not edible. However, the fleshy pulp can be eaten. The taste of the pulp is different for different varieties, and so is the flavor, which can be that of banana, vanilla flan, pear, etc. The color of the pulp too changes with different varieties. The yellow skin varieties have a beige-yellow pulp, while the green skin ones have a creamy-white pulp. The number of seeds contained in this fruit ranges from 1-5.
Black Sapote Fruit
This fruit has the botanical name Diospyros dignya, and belongs to the Ebenaceae family. The plant of this fruit is native to Central America and the surrounding regions. Alternative names for this fruit are Zapote Prieto (Spanish) and Chocolate Pudding Fruit. The size of this fruit ranges from 5-10 cm, and its shape resembles that of a tomato. The skin of this fruit just like that of the others, is inedible. The skin changes its color from olive to yellow-green as the fruit ripens. The color of the pulp too changes from white to a shade of chocolate pudding. The flavor of the fruit is also similar to that of chocolate pudding.
This fruit is rich in nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins. The minerals contained in this fruit include sodium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron. The vitamins include thiamin, niacin, folate, and riboflavin. These vitamins play an important role in the different metabolic processes of the body. This fruit is very high in fiber content. Dietary fibers that are present in it are good for the digestive system. This fruit is therefore considered as one of the best laxatives. These fibers serve the purpose of protecting the colon from toxins that cause cancer, and also keep the problem of constipation in check. Poly-phenolic compounds like tannin possess antioxidants, and are therefore important for controlling parasites and bacteria. This fruit is also known for its anti-hemorrhoidal, hemostatic, and anti-diarrheal properties. Since it contains vitamin A, the prevention of oral and lung cancers is possible with its regular consumption. The paste of this fruit is used in the treatment of bites and stings from poisonous creatures.
Sapote plants grow well in warm conditions of tropical regions. The soils in which they flourish include clay and clay-loam. However, it has been observed that these plants also grow well in porous and infertile soils. The seeds are used for the propagation of the plant. However, since the seeds lose their viability quickly, it is advisable to plant/sow them as early as possible. A spacing of 9 meters between two seeds is considered ideal while planting them.
Sapote fruits are highly nutritious and should therefore be included in the regular diet. However, you should also be cautious and educate yourself about the side effects of over-consumption of this fruit.