Food

15 Irresistible Facts About Sapodilla

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Sapodilla (or lamut, chiku, achra) is the fruit of an evergreen, slow-growing sapodilla tree (lat. Manilkara zapota) from the Sapotova family that is found throughout Thailand. The supposed homeland of the plant is one of the regions of Mexico. It is now found naturally in an area stretching from Mexico and South Florida to the Caribbean and northern South America. Manilkara zapota is widespread on other continents, in tropical regions.

  1. India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mexico, Venezuela, Guatemala, and other Central American countries are engaged in commercial cultivation. The most important fruit suppliers are the Thai provinces of Chonburi, Nakhon Sawan, Nakhon Si Thammarat, and Sukhothai. The harvest season in Thailand lasts from September to January.
  2. The height of sapodilla trees is usually 12–20 m. Some specimens grow up to 40 m in height. The trunk and bark contain a lot of white milky sap. The leaves are beautiful, with cuttings up to 3 cm long and elliptical plates, 5–15 cm long and up to 7 cm wide. They are located at the ends of branches in groups. Both sides of the leaves are the same dark green color, the veins are clearly visible below. In some species, the underside is velvety.
  3. Bell-shaped flowers on stems about 2 cm long grow from the leaf axils. They have 6 stamens and 3 ovoid velvety red-brown sepals. The corolla is light green.
  4. Fruits are around 5–10 cm in size. They appear in place of a small number of flowers. Depending on the variety, from the beginning of flowering to ripening, the sapodilla takes from four to ten months. In mature specimens, the skin is slightly rough, light brown, while in immature specimens it is smooth, greenish-brown. The pulp is soft, mealy, sweet, from yellow to red-brown in color. Sapodilla flavor is a cross between pear, banana, and caramel. The fruit smells like caramel and vanilla.
  5. One fruit contains 3–12 inedible brown or black seeds with a white margin, 16–24 mm long, arranged in a star shape. They are slightly flattened and very hard.
  6. Sapodilla trees are grown mainly for the tasty and nutritious fruits that supply the body with minerals, amino acids, and vitamins. They are especially rich in phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and vitamin C.
  7. Manilkara zapota wood is a durable building material, as evidenced by the Mayan settlements abandoned many centuries ago on the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula. It is tough, tough, and pest resistant. Sapodilla wood is used to make heavy structures, sleepers, furniture, joinery, and tool handles.
  8. The tannin found in various parts of the plant is used for tanning ship sails and fishing nets.
  9. A decoction of the leaves is used to reduce fever, hemorrhoids, wounds, and ulcers. For neuralgia, greased leaves are applied in the form of a compress.
  10. Flowers are one of the components of the powder with which women rub their bodies after childbirth.
  11. The bark is an astringent, antipyretic, and tonic. The tannin obtained from it is used for diarrhea and high fever.
  12. Sapodillas are eaten for indigestion and diarrhea.
  13. The seeds are considered antipyretic. If you grind them and grind them with water, you will get a diuretic, which also helps to eliminate stones from the gall and bladder.
  14. Powdered roots are used to treat oral thrush in infants.
  15. The seeds have something like a hook at the end. If accidentally swallowed, it can get caught in the esophagus. Therefore, before using sapodilla, it is better to remove the seeds immediately.

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