Guatemalan Fruit: Chico Zapote

Guatemalan Fruit: Chico Zapote

Okay, we will finish the Zapote and other exotic tropical fruits from Guatemala week with the Chico Zapote or simply chico which in English is known as Sapodilla.

The flavor of Chico Zapote is exceptionally sweet and very tasty, with what can be described as a malty flavor. The unripe fruit is hard to the touch and contains high amounts of saponin, which has astringent properties similar to tannin, drying out the mouth.

The Chico Zapote is a large ellipsoid berry, 4-8 cm in diameter, very much resembling a smooth-skinned potato and containing 2-5 seeds. Inside, its flesh ranges from a pale yellow to an earthy brown color with a grainy texture akin to that of a well-ripened pear. The seeds are black and resemble beans, with a hook at one end that can catch in the throat if swallowed. (Source: Wikipedia)

Trivia: From the sap of Chico Zapote tree is produced the natural chewing gum known as chicle.

Photographic Aside: Never underestimate to power of the close-up shot. I took several shots of the chico zapote and then I realized I should cut one up so you can see the insides. Duh!, yes I know I should have done the same with all the other fruits. 🙁 That’s how I got the shot of the sapodilla fruit you see below (click to see a larger version, as always) which is, all in all, a good enough photo of the chico zapote. Then, I decided to take a few macro shots for texture and wallpapers and that’s how I obtained the large photo above. Sure the close-up macro image above does not show the entire shape of the chico zapote, but who cares, as long I can inflict a nostalgic pinch to the Guatemalans living abroad! 😉

Guatemalan Fruit: Chico zapote zoom out

© 2009 – 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • kd

    Rudy–I hoped you would get to one more fruit. One I do not know the name of. It’s flesh is vividly purple & I have seen and eaten it only in Guatemala. What could it be? And what a nice color it would be to photograph

  • @kd, the only vividly purple fruits that I can think of are caimito zapote, which I just published a few days ago and pitaya, which you can see two slices in the following photo of chiles rellenos.

  • that purple vivid fruit is the pitahaya… I think… Rudy I love your site!!! Whenever I can I read it with awe! how beautiful way to promote our country… Sigue adelante muxaxo!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Claudia

    Weirdly enough – just by looking @ this pic, my taste buds can remember not only the taste but the particular texture and messiness of the chico . . . yummy.

  • Dale Dorsey

    I just discovered the Chico in the Philippines and started researching it when I returned to the U.S. It seems the Spaniards are responsible for the Chico being in the Philippines; and, they’re also responsible for taking from the Philippines palms and mangos and introducing them into the tropics of the western hemisphere. My comment about the Chico is about its taste (something Americans can relate to): The Chico fruit has the texture of a guava or medium ripe pear, but without the juice. Another texture comparison would be a firm but not juicy kiwi. The flavor is devine (I suggest the “real” forbidden fruit)! To me, the taste is that of clover-honey and cinnamon.

  • Willie

    Can anyone tell me if this Chico Zapote (Sapodilla) is found/sold in California?

  • Evelyn

    I’d like to know where to get this fruit and Caimito in California too!

    • Willie

      By the way Evelyn and everyone else interested, I did find a place online and located in Florida that have this fruit and many other tropical fruits. The’re website is Their Price for a plant of Chico Zapote is $130 including shipping to C.A. They break it down as follows:

      1. Plant: $25
      2. Shipping:$37.50 for one plant, $57.50 for two.
      3. Phytosanitary fee:$55 (for one or two)
      4. CA Compliance Fee:$12.50

      A little pricie i thought, specially with the uncertainty if it’ll survive with CA’s weather.

  • elvisa alejandro

    I just had some chicos and cherimoyas in Hawaii. They were so expensive.

    • @Elvisa, chicos are very inexpensive in LAG, you should come here for your chicos and zapotes. Heck, we even have beach called Hawaii 😉

  • Willie

    I use to eat this fruit when I was little, only I’ve known it as Nispero. At the time I use to reside in El Salvador. Now, since 1989 I reside in California and have, ever since wondered if first of all, this fruit may be found here? Secondly, can grow here? and third, where can I find it?

  • sami

    Wthat happen if you swallow the seed?

  • Linda Matz

    I have 3 seeds of the chico zapote. How do I go about planting and growing these seeds. Thanks, Linda

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