Monday, September 21, 2009 at 10:54AM
[chuck] in Science, Selva Maya

A large chicozapote (Manilkara zapote L. Royen) tree in the Selva Maya of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Like the ramon tree (see The Curious Case of Brosimum alicastrum), chicozapote was a favored forest resource to the pre-Columbian Maya.  The timber was used for lintels and supporing beams in their temples, the ripe fruits were relished, and the dried latex, known as "chicle", was used as a masticatory. In 1866, General Antonio López de Santa Anna (best known for his involvement in the battle of the Alamo) gave a small piece of chicle resin to the son of Thomas Adams while in Staten Island awaiting clearance to return to his country.  The rest is history.

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