Sapotaceae is a family of flowering plants, belonging to order Ericales. The family includes approximately 800 species of evergreen trees and shrubs in approximately 65 genera (35-75, depending on generic definition). Distribution is pantropical.
Many species produce edible fruits, and/or have other economic uses. Species noted for their edible fruits include Manilkara zapota (Sapodilla, Sapota), Manilkara chicle (Chicle), Chrysophyllum cainito (Star-apple or Golden Leaf Tree), Pouteria (Abiu, Canistel, Lúcuma, Mamey sapote), Vitellaria paradoxa (Shea) and Sideroxylon australe (Australian native plum). Shea (shi in several dialect languages of West Africa; karité in francophone also anglicised as Shea butter ) is also the source of an oil-rich nut, the source of edible \"shea butter,\" which is the major lipid source for many African ethnic groups and is also used in traditional and Western cosmetics and medications. The \'miracle fruit,\' Synsepalum dulcificum is also in Sapotaceae.
Trees of the genus Palaquium (Gutta-percha) produce an important latex with a wide variety of uses.
The seeds of the tree Argania spinosa (L.) Skeels produce an edible oil, traditionally harvested in Morocco.
The family name is derived from zapote, a Mexican vernacular name for one of the plants (in turn derived from the Nahuatl \"tzapotl\") and latinised by Linnaeus as sapota, a name now treated as a synonym of Manilkara (also formerly known by the invalid name Achras).
The fruit of the abiu tree is edible and is eaten out of hand in most cases. In Colombia, it is advised that if you eat the fruit, you grease your lips before eating it in order to keep the gummy latex from sticking to their lips. The fruit of the abiu is also used in ice cream. It can be cut up and put in yogurt for a light and delicious breakfast. Another way to serve the abiu is to scoop out the flesh and sprinkle a little limejuice on it to bring out the flavor, and then chill it. There are
The flavor is exceptionally sweet and very tasty, with what can be described as a malty flavor. Many believe the flavor bears a striking resemblance to caramel. The unripe fruit is hard to the touch and contains high amounts of saponin, which has astringent properties similar to tannin, drying out the mouth. The trees can only survive in warm, typically tropical environments, dying easily if the temperature drops below freezing. From germination, the sapodilla tree will usually take anywhere f