About sapodilla (a type of tropical fruit). (Malay: Ciku, Chinese: 人心果)
The sapodilla might not be a familiar tropical fruit to a lot of people, even for Malaysians, but it is certainly one of the best in Malaysia.
At first glance, the sapodilla may not look pretty and it certainly won’t attract you in the first place. As the saying goes, we can’t judge a book by its cover.
The same goes to sapodilla. Even though the sapodilla looks just like a plain potato, beneath the skin is the golden brown flesh that looks similar to a pear flavored with maple syrup.
Moreover, the flesh of a perfect sapodilla tastes just like honey and it may just be the sweetest thing you have ever eaten.
How to eat a sapodilla
The sapodilla is a “difficult” fruit in the sense that you must eat it when it is at the perfect ripeness.
If you eat an unripe sapodilla, you’ll find it tasteless and astringent. On the other hand, an over-ripe sapodilla might be a little too soft and the taste might have gone deteriorated.
The perfect sapodilla is slightly firm when pressed lightly but not be totally soft.
Inside the skin, which should be peeled off with a knife, are segments of golden-brown flesh, each with a shiny black seed inside.
The sapodilla, which has the faintly gritty texture of a pear, has too pronounces a flavor to mix with any other fruits and is best enjoyed raw, and on its own.
Why you must try a sapodilla
The Malays call it ciku and the Chinese Malaysians call it the “heart fruit” (人心果) because it is shaped like the heart.
Sapodilla can be found throughout Malaysia. Even though the delicious fruit is available everywhere in Malaysia, the trees only bear fruits twice in a year.
Therefore, there is a season for sapodilla in which the fruits are available roughly in March and November.
When you are visiting Malaysia during these times, watch out for stalls especially in villages in remote areas where sapodilla is mostly available.
Where you can find sapodilla
The cost of sapodilla is cheap and shouldn’t cost more than RM10 for a kilo.
Sapodilla is not widely sold in hypermarkets and shopping malls.
You might be having difficulty in locating sapodilla even at wet and night market. Therefore, if you are visiting areas such as the orang asli (indigenous people) settlements, do look around for this highly prize fruit.
All in all, sapodilla is a must–try tropical fruit in Malaysia especially for expatriates.
Aside from visiting the most interesting places in Malaysia, don’t forget to savor this super delicious fruit when you have the chance.
Other fruits in Malaysia that you might be interested
- Starfruit – As the name implies, the starfruit looks like a five-pointed star when you cut a cross section of this fruit.
- Jackfruit – The jackfruit is said to be the largest fruit in the world, with the biggest specimens weighing up to 50kg (110 lbs)
- Rambutan – The rambutan is a rather peculiar and yet popular fruit in Malaysia. Native to South East Asia, the rambutan is available throughout the year in Malaysia.
- Duku – Duku is now cultivated throughout Southeast Asia and it grows on a tree belonging to the same family as the Langsat.
- Mangosteen (Manggis) – The mangosteen has been considered one of the most powerful super fruit recently. The level of anti-oxidant in this fruit is of super extraordinary. Find out why you should give this super fruit a bite.
- Pomelo (Limau Gedang) – The pomelo is a favorite tropical fruit among all races in Malaysia. It’s available throughout the year. As a result, you can see pomelos in almost all places in Malaysia.
- Red Durian (Wild Durian) – Have you tried a wild durian before? If not, you should give this red-flesh durian a try. The feedback for this special species of durian is that its taste is more pungent and its smell is stronger.
- Durian – The durian might seem controversial due to its overpowering odor; it’s actually very special in terms of taste and sweetness.