Piles of this small brown fruit appeared suddenly in our Florida grocery stores. We couldn't find any information about it at all - but in the last month Wikipedia and other online resources have created articles on this tropical fruit - probably because of its sudden introduction to mainline groceries.
Curious, we bought one to try it out. This was before much info was available online, and we knew very little about the fruit. Should it be eaten soft? Firm? Green? We decided to try it as it was. ...
The inside of the fruit was pale yellow with a beautiful star-shaped seed pattern. We cut half moons and bit into the flesh in the middle and immediately had to wash our mouths out - it had the strongest mouth-puckering astringency we've ever tasted! Apparently the sapodilla has to ripen after it has been picked until it becomes very, very soft. It becomes creamy and sweet like its cousins the cherimoya and soursop.
We will get another one and try again soon. Another piece of trivia: the sapodilla tree, which originated in Mexico but has spread to many tropical locations like India and the Philippines, is full of latex. In fact, a lot of chewing gum is made from the latex found in its bark. In India the tree is called chiku, which is how Chiclets got their name.