josef george kamel, s.j. drawing of chico fruit and leaf
Chico (Manilkara zapota (L.) Van Royen) is a tree introduced to the Philippines from Mexico during the Spanish period. It is known as sapodilla in Spanish. This small tree, up to 5 meters, is grown in orchards and in home gardens. It is multi-branched, has shiny, leathery green leaves and bears a fleshy, brown fruit. When ripe it is sweet. The fruit has a gritty texture and is eaten as is or mixed with salad for its texture. Chico fruits profusely during the hot season and is one of summer’s delights for its refreshing quality, especially if served chilled.