Fabiola Obregón, RD
Registered DietitianFollow this author
Tasting the richly colored flesh of the zapote fruit is a treat not easily forgotten. Its taste is an incomparable and intensely sweet mix with notes of pumpkin, sweet potato, almond, cherry, spice, berry, and apricot. Rusty light brown on the outside, inside it surprises you with a bright salmon color. And as with all fruits or vegetables, rich in color means rich in nutrients. Listed from highest to lowest in content, the zapote provides vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, iron, calcium, and dietary fiber.
Native to southern Mexico and Central America, its name originates from the Nahuatl word ‘tzapotl’, but it is also known as mamey sapote or marmalade plum. The zapote is an important fruit in Mexico, Central America, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. In the state of Florida, Cuban Americans and Central Americans are top zapote consumers. In the mid-1880s, the zapote was introduced to Florida, where you can still find it today.
With its remarkably sweet and unique flavor this fruit can add spice to your diet. The zapote is an excellent option for a healthy snack or dessert. Its creamy texture makes the zapote a most special addition to an otherwise common smoothie, yogurt, or ice cream. Just remember when making a zapote smoothie, choose low-fat dairy and add a bit of honey.
It takes anywhere from 12 to 24 months from the flowering stage to maturity of a single fruit— each zapote is truly a treasure to enjoy!
Purdue University (www.hort.purdue.edu)
Cook Almost Anything (cookalmostanything.blogspot.com)
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (www.fairchildgarden.org)
University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (edis.ifas.ufl.edu)