Sunday, July 1, 2012

[did you know?] Zapote, the fruit.

From Top10Philippines
I've known people (Filipinos) with Zapote as their family name. I wondered what that means. I just know it's a Spanish word.

Today, I attended Japanese language lessons and we were in a conversation about favorite fruits. One of the Indian students asked me if I know the fruit called sapota. I told him, no, of course, and that I don't think there's any word in English like so. I tried to think that there might be a word very similar to sapota which could explain what it is. But when I looked up both Japanese and English dictionaries I had, there was no word like sapota. The closest I saw was probably the word sapodilla, which is basically like a Spanish word.

I finally was able to google sapota. It turns out, it is the Tamil (South Indian) word for the Filipino word, chico. Yes, the fruit. It turns out the Hindi word for it is chiku. If the Indian guy had asked me if I knew what is chiku, maybe I would've been able to guess what it was earlier.

It turns out that chico originated from Mexico and Central America, where they might also call it chicozapote. In other Spanish-speaking countries in Central America, they call it zapote. And there you go.

Obviously it was only introduced in the Indian and Southeast Asian sub-continent. As for me, it has been a very long while since I last tasted chico. Not something I really like to do, though. But from what I remember, it's quite a tasty fruit. As I mentioned, it is also known as sapodilla, at least maybe around the US. For more info, check out the Wikipedia article about this.

For more about the fruits you should eat while in the Philippines, check out this Top 10 Philippines blog article. Yup, no need to eat bananas anymore because you're probably able to buy Philippine bananas at your home country already. But did you know there are three main types of bananas in the Philippines (lacatan, latundan, and saba) that are very different from the Cavendish type that is typically exported. You should try all three while in the Philippines as well, if you're interested in bananas. :D

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