Posted on

You must try Chico (Sapodilla) fruit

Latin Names: Manilkara Zapota, Achras sapota,

Family: Sapotaceae

Other names: Chicle tree, Zapotillo, Dilly, Nispero, Chico Zapote, Sapota, sapota, sapodilla, nose berry, sapodilla plum or chikoo sapotem, chikoo, ciku,

Varieties: Alano, Brown Sugar, Prolific, Russel, and Tikal.

Characteristics of Chico:

 

Chico is round (almost egsapodillag shaped) with a tapered end.   The diameter is 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) and its length is 2-2.5 inches. Its pulp ranges from yellow to brown and it is smooth and sometimes a little grainy in texture. The skin is papery or “scruffy”. There are usually 1-6 seeds which are black, sort of oval, with a little spike, and 3/4” or less long.

 

Taste and Culinary Uses of Sapodilla:

This fruit is aromatic, sweet and floral, and consequently it tastes sweet like brown sugar and maple syrup. The texture is similar to kiwi, juicy, gel-like and also granular. It can be eaten raw, in salads, sorbets, smoothies, juices, pancake batters, baked pies, etc. Moreover, in any of these culinary applications you can try adding a splash of lemon juice to enhance flavor.

Caution: the latex and tannins of unripe fruit may cause mouth ulcers, itchy throats, and difficulty breathing.

chico, sapodilla

 

Harvest and storage:

Chico is harvested about 6 months after flowering. To be sure it is ripe there are several clues. 1. The skin turns lighter brown and separates easily from stem (without oozing latex). 2. The color also changes from yellowish to brown. 3. You can scratch the fruit to make sure the skin is not green beneath the surface. 4. When it is ripe the skin yields to gentle thumb pressure.

A whole bunch of mature, unripe chicos can be cut and hung. Kept at room temperature the fruit will ripen in 5 – 10 days. Ripe fruit is good at room temperature for a few days. However, it will last longer  if refrigerated. Additionally, the frozen pulp stays good for a few weeks. When buying chicos in the store look for fruits that have smooth skin without bruises, cuts, cracks or wrinkles.

Shipping: Chico is durable if picked hard, can transport for a few days.

Health benefits:

Chico has 200 calories per cup or 100 g provides 83 calories. It is relatively high in Vitamin C (39.33%), Dietary Fiber (33.68%), Iron (24.13%), and Copper (23.00%).  Sapodilla is known to relieve stress, prevent colds, prevent anemia, reduce arthritis, and heal wounds (homeostatic qualities, it helps to stop the loss of blood). It is antiviral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and an anti-parasitic agent. It is also a sedative used to relieve stress and anxiety. Chico contains significant amounts of folic acid,

Chico recipes from other sites:

Chikoo Melon Shake Recipe (http://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/health-benefits-of-chikoo.htm)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopper chikoo
  • 1 cup chopped muskmelon
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 4 cups milk
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • Ice cubes as required

Ciku Smoothie (http://tropicalfruitfarm.com.my/pdf/Sapodilla-Ciku-k.pdf)

  • 125 ml milk
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp brandy
  • 125 ml ciku pulp
  • 4 cups of ice.

Sapodilla growth patterns:

In general, chico seedlings bear fruit in 3 to 8 years, while grafted trees bear in 2 to 4 years. Although these are slow growing trees they may reach up to 100 feet tall. However, grafted chico varieties tend to be shorter in height. Generally speaking, they bear prolifically about 2 times per year and live 50-100 years.

Interesting Facts:

Wild sapodilla trees are known for the chicle (latex) that was was originally used as the base for chewing gum.

Resources:

  1. https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/sapodilla/
  2. http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/sapodilla.html
  3. http://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/health-benefits-of-chikoo.htm
  4. http://www.ijrap.net/admin/php/uploads/1389_pdf.pdf
  5. http://tropicalfruitfarm.com.my/pdf/Sapodilla-Ciku-k.pdf
  6. http://www.healthbeckon.com/sapodilla-chikoo-benefits/
If you like it share it:
Posted on

Soursop fruits (gravioloa) are the new super fruit

Soursop or gravioloa tastes better than its sounds, and possibly even better than it looks. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite fruits on our farm as it seems to fruit the majority of the year. Even our 3 year old tree puts out huge 8 lb fruits.

front of soursop

Latin Name and Family

The Latin name for soursop is Annona muricata. It is a species of the genus Annona and is in the custard apple tree family, Annonaceae. Other common names are Guanábana, Corossol, Graviola, Brazilian Cherimoya, and Brazilian Paw Paw.

Soursop taste and culinary uses:

Soursop tastes likes guava and pear, and has the aroma of pineapple. The fresh fruit is ideal to eat “as is” or raw, but it is also great for use in drinks, cocktails, and sorbets. You can eat the immature fruits fried or boiled, in soups etc. Alternatively, for the ripe flesh of the fruit popular recipes include soursop punch, soursop smoothies, ice creams, and even pies.

Check out this site for a few ideas: https://www.thedailymeal.com/best-recipes/soursop.  Furthermore, new leaf shoots can be boiled and added to other meat or vegetable dishes. However, please use caution to remove all seeds, especially before blending the pulp as the seeds of annona trees are toxic if ingested. Also, the leaves are used to make a tea which is gaining scientific recognition for helping prevent and reduce cancer.

2016-05-05 11.59.08.jpg

 

Harvest and storage:

You can pick graviola once starts to turn soft and change from shiny dark green to dull light green and their spines are set further apart. If it ripens on the tree it will drop and bruise too much be salvaged for food. It must be handled with extreme care. The unripe light green fruits can be kept a few days at room temperature. Then, once they yield to a little pressure of your thumb they can be kept a few more days in the fridge.  In the fridge the skin will blacken but the flesh is still unspoiled. Hawaii scientists have shown that it is ideal for consumption for 5-6 days after picking it from the tree.

Health benefits:

Soursop is high in pectin and vitamin C and B. It is antiviral, anti parasitic, and scientific evidence is beginning to show that it may slow the growth of cancer cells and help to kill cancer cells. It helps with stomach distress, relieves cough and respiratory illness, depression, arthritis.

Soursop is known to contain alkaloids that may account for the relaxing effect people feel after consumption (Bourne, 1979), (Hasrat, Pieters, De Backer, Vauquelin, & Vlietinck, 1997). In Nigeria, they use the fresh juice as an anti-pyretic (reduces fevers). Additionally, in Dominica people eat the fruit to induce lactation. Furthermore, in Trinidad and Tobago soursop is used to provide useful quantities of a range of electrolytes to combat dehydration caused by acute diarrhea (Fisheries, 2008). For more information on the scientific evidence of soursops visit: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/graviola-fruit-for-cancer/amp/.

Characteristics of the soursop fruit:

The fruit varies in shape from somewhat oval, to heart shaped, and equally it is irregular, lopsided or curved. It ranges from 4 to 12 in (10-30 cm) long and up to 6 in (15 cm) wide, and averages around 4.5 lbs but may weigh up to 15 lbs (6.8 kg).

inside of a soursop

Soursops have a reptilian appearance, with soft, short and curved spines. The skin is dark-green when the fruit is under-ripe or immature. As it ripens it becomes slightly yellowish-green and soft. Soursop’s inner surface is off-white cream-colored. In the center is a soft-pithy core and inside it has smooth, hard, oblong-ish black seeds about the size of beans.

Growth patterns:

Although soursop is a relative of cherimoya,  it grows in the tropical lowlands (for example, less than 1,000 feet). They grow to about 25-30 feet tall. Most people select seed from delicious and ideal fruits for propagation, although some people prefer to air layering, budding or grafting. Soursops begin to bear fruit at 3-5 years old. The fruit may ripen year round but tends to peak in the middle of summer.

Other related articles:

If you like soursop you should try other fruits from the Annona family like my favorite fruit, the lemon meringue pie fruit, Rollinia.  Also, equally as famous as soursop although in a different family is the queen of fruits, Mangosteen.

Resources:

1.Permacopia Book II. D. Hunter Beyer Dr. Franklin Martin.

2. Hawaiian Organic growing Guide, Shunyam Nirav. (1992)Oasis Maui /inc.

3.https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/soursop.html

4. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-soursop-4285.html

5. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancers-in-general/cancer-questions/can-graviola-cure-cancer

6. Bourne, R.K. and Egbe, P.C. (1979). Preliminary study of the sedative effects of annona muricata (sour sop). A West Indian Medical Journal, 28, 106–110.

7.Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries. (2008). Proceedings of the tropical fruits in human nutrition and health conference 2008.

8. Hasrat, J.A., Pieters, L., De Backer, J.P., Vauquelin, G. , & Vlietinck, A.J. (1997). Screening of medicinal plants from Suriname for 5-HT1A ligands: Bioactive isoquinoline alkaloids from the fruit of Annona muricata. Phytomedicine, 4(133–140)

9. Morton, J.F. . (1987). Fruits of warm climates. Miami, Florida, USA.

 

 

 

 

If you like it share it: