Sapodilla or sapote, also known as the Chewing-gum tree, the chewing gum tree, is an evergreen from the Sapotacae family, native to tropical America, specifically Yucatàn, where it grows wild.
It is a plant, but also of its fruit, which is cultivated and grows in many varieties around the world, now also in India - where it is known as chikoo - in Australia, California, Indonesia and Florida.
As they deteriorate very quickly, the fruits are hardly exported : for this reason they are not so well known in Europe. Central America and southern Mexico, on the other hand, have always exported considerable quantities of its whitish latex, especially to the United States, for the production of chewing gum, now replaced by synthetic ingredients.
Properties and benefits of sapote
The white-yellowish pulp of its round fruits, with a diameter of 4–8 cm and a greenish-brownish color, has a delicious taste, reminiscent of a cross between that of pear and cane sugar, but also of apricot and honey.
The heart of the fruit contains from 3 to 12 black seeds. The peel and seeds are not edible. Sapodilla contains a lot of vitamin C , vitamin A, calcium and fiber. A fruit, which weighs about 170 grams, contains about 140 calories, almost 80% of water, fiber, carbohydrates, a gram of protein and low fat.
It is an easily digestible fruit, which contains simple sugar that gives the body energy and vitality: for this reason it lends itself to be perfect for those who practice physical activity and for sportsmen.
As well as having, as seen, good doses of vitamins, it is also rich in minerals (potassium, copper, iron) and tannins that give it antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties . Thanks to the fibers it is an excellent natural laxative .
Here are a couple of recipes, one sweet and one savory.
Against constipation, try laxative teas too
> 1 cup of sugar;
> half a teaspoon of salt;
> 1 tablespoon of chopped cloves;
> 3 eggs;
> 2 cups of ripe, crushed sapodilla pulp;
> 1 cup of milk;
> 1 cup of yoghurt;
> 3 tablespoons of honey;
> 1 teaspoon of vanilla powder;
Bring a large size to cook it
Preparation : preheat the oven to 180 °. Mix the sugar, salt and cloves in a small bowl. Beat the eggs in a large bowl, then add the sapodilla pulp and the sugar and clove mix. Add the milk, yoghurt, honey and vanilla gradually, stirring constantly.
Pour into the pan previously covered with baking paper. Cook for 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 120 ° and cook for another half hour. Serve warm, if desired with whipped cream.
Sapodilla tropical rice
Ingredients for 4 people :> 3 cups of basmati or thai rice;> 2 ripe sapodille cut into small squares;> a couple of tablespoons of lime or lemon peel cut into very thin slices;> 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger cut into small pieces ;> oil.
Preparation : boil the rice with a little salt, sauté the sapodilla in a pan with olive oil or seeds, sauté the pieces of fruit, lime or lemon and ginger together for a few minutes and add the rice. Serve hot.
In tropical kitchens it is also consumed with salads or desserts, such as ice cream and sorbets. In Malaysia, the fruit is stewed with lime or fried with ginger . In India it is often consumed dried.
Attention : the sapodilla is eaten only when it is ripe, unripe is not good, it "binds" in the mouth!