CategoriesHealthy Foods Lifestyle

Is Chikoo an Indian Fruit?

History of Chikoo horticulture in India

Chikoo (Sapota) is a loved by all & nutritious fruit abundantly available in India. Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra, Telangana & Tamilnadu are major producers of this fruit. Known for its sweet taste and health benefits, the fruit is also widely consumed in the form of milkshakes, ice creams, kulfi etc. The peak season of this fruit is from November to March and people in northern India love to eat chikoo during winters. 

So let’s know some facts about the origin of this fruit. Going by the name “Chikoo” we assume this is a local fruit which might have been grown here since ages. You will be surprised to know that the history of Chikoo in India is only over a hundred years and it finds its roots in Central America and Southern Mexico. So how did this humble fruit land in India?  

Mexico was under Spanish rule during the colonial times. A lot of European explorers were always looking out for varieties of spices, fruits and other food items for trade across continents. The Parsi community in Mumbai, India had established themselves as astute businessmen and also had good terms with the then British government. Around the late 18th century one such Parsi textile businessman Sir Dinshaw Maneckji Petit  imported chikoo saplings and planted them in his garden in Mumbai. In 1901, Sir Dinshaw’s estate manager Ardeshir Irani took some of the chikoo seedlings and planted them on his land in Dahanu, situated around 130 km from Mumbai. In no time, Chikoo gained popularity and its cultivation started to grow. 

The economy of Dahanu Gholvad Bordi region flourished with this fruit and more and more farmers started cultivating the fruit on their empty lands. The soil properties and suitable tropical environment helped the farmers in many ways. A unique aspect was that farmers got 3-5 harvests per year compared to 1-2 harvests in other regions. Also in 2016 the Ministry of IP, Government of India awarded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag to Dahanu Gholvad Bordi Chikoo for its flavorful taste and high nutrient content.   

“Ruwan Foodtech LLP” based in Bordi Dahanu is India’s largest processor of Chikoo fruit in its most natural and nutritious form. They produce 100% natural sundried chikoo slices from Dahanu Gholvad Bordi Chikoo fruit which is easy to store, transport, consume and process.

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