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Sapote (Pouteria sapota) is a delicious and nutritious fruit native to the Americas, belonging to the family Sapotaceae. It is a tropical evergreen tree that produces a sweet and creamy fruit, widely consumed in many parts of the world. Sapote has a rich history and cultural significance, and its fruit, leaves, and seeds have been used for various purposes, including food, medicine, and rituals.


The name “sapote” comes from the Nahuatl language, spoken by the Aztecs, in which it is written as “tzapotl.” This word is derived from the roots “tzap” meaning “soft” and “otl” meaning “thing,” referring to the fruit’s soft and juicy pulp.


Sapote is a medium-sized tree that grows up to 10-15 meters tall, with a broad, rounded crown and a straight, smooth trunk. Its leaves are elliptical, dark green, and glossy, with a leathery texture. The fruit is oval or round, 5-10 cm in diameter, with a thin, brown skin that is easily peeled. The pulp is white or yellowish, soft, and juicy, with a sweet and slightly nutty flavor.

Taxonomy and Cultivars

Sapote belongs to the genus Pouteria, which includes over 100 species of trees and shrubs. There are several cultivars of sapote, including:

‘Prolific’High-yielding, large fruit
‘Brown Sugar’Sweet and nutty flavor, brown skin
‘White Prolific’High-yielding, white pulp
‘Villalobos’Large fruit, sweet and juicy

Distribution and Habitat

Sapote is native to the tropical regions of Central and South America, from Mexico to Ecuador. It is widely cultivated in many countries, including the United States, Brazil, and the Caribbean. Sapote prefers well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade, making it suitable for tropical and subtropical regions.


Sapote is typically propagated through seeds or grafting. It requires regular watering, fertilization, and pruning to maintain its shape and promote fruiting. The tree is relatively low-maintenance and can tolerate some frost and drought.

Production and Uses

Sapote is widely consumed fresh or used in various products, such as:

Fresh fruitEaten raw or used in salads
JuiceConsumed as a refreshing beverage
JamMade from cooked pulp and sugar
Ice creamUsed as a flavoring and topping
Traditional medicineUsed to treat various ailments


Sapote contains various bioactive compounds, including:

SaponinsAntioxidant and anti-inflammatory
FlavonoidsAntioxidant and antimicrobial
Phenolic acidsAntioxidant and anti-inflammatory


Sapote’s flavor is often described as sweet and slightly nutty, with a hint of vanilla and caramel. The flavor profile varies depending on the cultivar and ripeness of the fruit.


Sapote is generally considered safe to consume. However, the seeds and leaves contain a toxic compound called sapotin, which can cause gastrointestinal issues if ingested in large quantities.


Sapote is a nutrient-rich fruit, providing:

NutrientAmount (per 100g)
Vitamin C20mg
AntioxidantsHigh amount


Sapote has significant cultural and historical importance in many societies. In Mexico, it is considered a symbol of good luck and prosperity. In some indigenous communities, the fruit is used in traditional rituals and ceremonies.


  • “The sapote is a fruit of the gods, with a flavor that is both sweet and subtle.” – Mexican proverb
  • “Sapote is a fruit that is not only delicious but also nutritious, making it a perfect snack for any time of day.” – Food blogger


CountryProduction (tons)
United States20,000
NutrientAmount (per 100g)


Sapote has significant cultural and historical importance in many societies. In Mexico, it is considered a symbol of good luck and prosperity. In some indigenous communities, the fruit is used in traditional rituals and ceremonies.


Sapote is a versatile fruit that can be used in various dishes, such as:

Sapote smoothieBlend sapote, milk, and honey for a refreshing drink
Sapote salsaMix sapote, onions, jalapeños, and cilantro for a sweet and spicy salsa
Sapote cakeUse sapote puree as a substitute for oil in cake recipes
Sapote ice creamMake a creamy ice cream base with sapote puree and cream

Fun Facts

  • Sapote is also known as “zapote” in some countries.
  • The fruit is a popular ingredient in traditional Mexican cuisine.
  • Sapote trees can live up to 100 years in ideal conditions.
  • The fruit is a good source of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties.


Sapote is a delicious and nutritious fruit with a rich history and cultural significance. Its sweet and creamy pulp, versatility in recipes, and numerous health benefits make it a popular choice among fruit lovers. Whether you enjoy it fresh, in smoothies, or as a topping for ice cream, sapote is a fruit that is sure to delight your taste buds.


  • “Sapote.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 3 May 2024, <(link unavailable)>.
  • “Pouteria sapota.” Tropical Fruit Tree Nursery, <(link unavailable)>.
  • “Sapote: A Fruit of the Gods.” The Fruit Blog, 20 Jan. 2022, <(link unavailable)>.