December 6, 2013
The South American sapote is the fruit of Quararibea cordata. “South American” disambiguates “sapote” (or zapote) which may refer to any number of unrelated fruits that enjoyed in South America, Mexico, or Central America.
Q. cordata is a tropical tree native to the northern Andean foothills. Unlike many other cultivated fruit trees, Q. cordata has undergone little selective breeding. As a consequence, the greater portion of these fruits may be composed of the inedible fibers that surround the 2-5 large, oblong seeds within.
The thin but strong skin easily rips away in large sections. Smaller palatable fibers hold some edible flesh tightly to the inside skin. Similarly, The fibrous areas near the seeds contain a great deal of juice and flesh. This sapote contains a very thin layer of flesh that is strictly edible, earning it the nickname chupa chupa or “suck suck” fruit.
The fruit may be juiced as an alternative to the shallow nibbling and sucking necessary to leave the inedible portions behind.
This fruit in particular came from a street vendor in Cartagena.
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