The sapodilla is found in the wild from southern Mexico to Nicaragua, but is now cultivated in other areas, including Southeast Asia. The egg-shaped fruits have rough, russet skin and translucent flesh with a smooth, creamy texture and luscious, fruity taste. Avoid eating the shiny black seeds, since they have a hooked end that is dangerous to swallow.
At its peak in November, the fruit must be perfectly ripe: when unripe it is hard, grainy, and astringent. It should be slightly firm when lightly pressed, but not totally soft. Unripe fruit has a greenish tinge. Avoid any that are overripe, since the flavor will have deteriorated.
If the unpeeled skin does not smell fragrant and is still hard, leave it at room temperature to ripen for up to a week. Ripe fruit can be kept in the fridge for a few days. Freeze whole fruit, then half thaw and serve like sorbet.
Slice down or across, peel and cut in wedges or scoop out with a spoon, either chilled or at room temperature. Remove the seeds. Eat as a snack or dessert. Purée and mix with mayonnaise or vinaigrette. Mash and use in custards, creams, mousses, and milk shakes.
Unsuitable for cooking.
Use the pulp for jam or boil down for syrup.
Chicken, fish, cream, tropical fruit, berries, lemon, lime, coconut, rum.
Exotic fruit salad; sapodilla ice cream.
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