Cherimoya fruits are sometimes heart-shaped, about the size of a large grapefruit, with creamy white, sweet and slightly tart flesh, green skin, and an abundance of large, black seeds. Neither the skin nor the seeds, which are toxic when crushed, are edible.
Visually like a cross between an artichoke and a strawberry, the flavor resembles a blend of pineapple and banana. Firm fruits should be refrigerated to slow the ripening process and removed three to four days before eating. Easily broken or cut to expose the pleasant fragrance and delicious, custard-like fruit, they're usually eaten like an apple or scooped out with a spoon, or cut in half lengthwise and peeled.
This juicy, delicious and creamy fruit resembles custard apple with its green outer skin consisting of overlapping scales and custardy flesh with several black seeds. The only difference is that it is much smoother on the outside, has comparatively lesser seeds and more flesh and is somewhat sweeter in taste. In fact, it is a variety of custard apple. The inner flesh of this fruit starts turning brown as it ripens and so it cannot be stored for a long time as the sugars in the flesh will begin to ferment. The seeds and skin are inedible as they are extremely toxic. This fruit finds its place amongst the healthiest fruits with its high nutrition, particularly vitamin C and antioxidants.
Some characterize the flavor as a blend of banana, pineapple, papaya, peach, and strawberry. Others describe it as tasting like commercial bubblegum. Similar in size to a grapefruit, it has large, glossy, dark seeds that are easily removed. When ripe, the skin is green and gives slightly to pressure, similar to the avocado. Many people often chill the cherimoya and eat it with a spoon, which has earned it another nickname; the ice cream fruit.
Selection and storage
1. At its natural habitat, cherimoya season starts from November until May. Usually, the fruit is handpicked by clipping upon reaching maturity. In the markets, buy fresh, firm, medium-sized, uniform fruits featuring greenish-yellow color and full for their size. Ripe fruits just yield to gentle pressure.
2. Avoid those with broken skin, surface blemishes and overly-ripen ones as they stay poorly.
3. Once at home, keep mature fruits in a fruit basket at room temperature until them ripe. Cherimoya has a very short shelf life. Once ripen, it quickly deteriorates at room temperature. As in bananas, whole cherimoya cannot either be stored inside the refrigerator for a long period as they sustain chilling injury. However, juiced or pureed, the fruit may be kept inside the freezer for several weeks
1. The fruit is better eaten out of hand on its own, without any add-on or seasonings.
2. Cherimoya juice is a refreshing drink.
3. Tart flavored guanabana or soursop can be mixed with honey, sugar, milk and ice; and serve chilled as sorbet or with other fruit cocktails
) and milkshakes
4. Cut chunks of Cherimoya and add to salads with kiwi, strawberry, papaya or other tropical fruit. Scoop flesh from skin and blend into smoothies and shakes. Add mashed pulp to yogurt or freeze with coconut milk into semifreddo
. Top puff pastry with slices of Cherimoya and fresh berries, and bake into a tart
. Harvest fruits when skin turns slightly yellow or pale green, or when skin gives a little to touch. To store, keep at room temperature until ripe. Wrap ripe fruit and refrigerate up to four days.
5. Cherimoya can be cut into cubes, pureed, and used as a mousse or pie filling. Some people add a few drops of lime or lemon juice and dilute with ice water for a refreshing beverage. Seeded, they're added to fruit salads
, or smoothies
, ice creams
and fermented to produce an alcoholic beverage. Pieces can be dipped in lemon or orange juice to prevent darkening.
Health benefits of Cherimoya:
Cherimoya is rich in copper, magnesium, iron
and manganese, and in fact, contains more minerals per weight than many common fruits, like apples
Cherimoya helps in curing diseases such as Anemia, Arthritis, Decalcification, Hypertension, Stomach contractions, stomach cramps, intestinal transit problems, constipation, diabetes and other related problems. This Fruit can mixed with milk and powder as a potent emetic and cathartic. It can be used to kill lice when mixed with lice, and is even used to treat parasitic disorders. The skin of this fruit can be used as a relive against pneumonia.
Read More at Wikipedia
Recipe using Cherimoya see Here