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Sapodilla (Manilkara, or Achras, zapota)—Walter Dawn
Tropical evergreen tree (Manilkara zapota, or Achras zapota) and its distinctive fruit, of the family Sapotaceae, native to southern Mexico and northern Central America. The rusty-brown fruit is eaten fresh in many tropical and subtropical areas. Its sweet flavour has been compared to a combination of pears and brown sugar. When the fruit is ripe, its shiny black seeds are surrounded by clear, yellowish brown, juicy flesh; when immature, its flesh contains both tannin and milky latex and is distasteful. The latex is the chief source of gum chicle, once important in the chewing-gum industry.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on sapodilla, visit Britannica.com.