Cherimoya is a fruit that I had my doubts about at the beginning when I came to Ecuador.
It was so strange in shape, form and texture that it took some time to learn to really enjoy eating it.
But after learning about its health benefits, I knew I had to give it another try.
The name of Cherimoya, or Chirimoya in Ecuador, comes from indigenous languages of the Andes.
The name is a Spanish version of the original local name and in Ecuadorian Kichwa the fruit is called Chirimuyu.
Chiri meaning cold and muyu seeds.
In Kichwa there is neither vowel e nor o but only three vowels, a,i and u.
In other words, it is a plant of cold areas with large and plentiful seeds.
|By Hannes Grobe 21:17, 5 November 2006 (UTC) (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons|
What is Cherimoya
Cherimoya is the fruit of the species Annona cherimola that is generally thought to be native to the Andes.
Mark Twain called the cherimoya “the most delicious fruit known to men”.
Today cherimuya is grown throughout South Asia, Central America, South America, Southern California, Portugal, southern Andalucia and South of Italy.
Cherimoya’s fruit is oval and often slightly oblate.
It has a smooth or slightly tuberculated skin.
The fruit flesh is white and creamy and it has large number of dark brown seeds embedded in it.
It is fleshy and soft, sweet with sherbet-like texture, which gives it its secondary name, custard apple.
There are people who say that cherimoya tastes like a blend of banana, pineapple, papaya, peach and strawberry.
Others describe the taste like commercial bubblegum.
When ripe it can be chilled and then eaten with spoon, which has earned cherimoya yet another name, the ice-cream fruit.
In other words, Cherimoya’s fragrant is unique and it tastes delicious.
To prepare it, wash fruit in cold running water; gently mop it with dry paper.
Then cut the fruit lengthwise and eat it scooping with a spoon, discard the seeds and the peel.
The fruit is better eaten out of hand on its own and doesn’t need any add-ons or seasonings.
But if you wish to you can eat the pulp pureed and mixed with other fruits in salads.
Or it can be also used on ice-cream toppings.
Cherimoya Smoothie Recipes
- 1 medium cherimoya, peeled and deseeded (about 1 cup fruit)
- 2 small apples, cored
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach
- 8 ounces filtered water
- 1 small cherimoya, peeled and deseeded (about 1/2 cup fruit)
- 1 medium peach, pitted
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach
- 8 ounces filtered water
- 1 medium ripe papaya
- 1 large ripe cherimoya
- 1/2 cup crushed ice or 1 pre-frozen banana
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 2 Tbsp. full fat coconut milk, or to desired consistency (Optional)
Facts about Cherimoya
The tree can be found in the tropics at altitudes of 4,300 to 8,500 ft.
It is sensitive to frost but needs periods of cool temperatures or it will gradually go dormant.
Kichwas say that cherimoya doesn’t stand snow but it likes to see it in the distance.
Cherimoya is a small-sized tree, grows to about 15 to 30 feet tall with dense foliage, and bears fruits after 4-5 years of plantation.
At their natural habitat, cherimoya flowers are pollinated by insects.
At its natural habitat, cherimoya season lasts from November until May.
Usually, the fruit is handpicked by clipping on 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.
Avoid those with broken skin, surface blemishes and overly-ripen ones as they stay poorly.
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 to skin and flesh.
However, juiced or pureed fruit may be kept inside the refrigerator for several weeks.
Cherimoya and your health
Cherimoya contains an impressive list of essential nutrients, vitamins, anti-oxidants and minerals.
It calorie value is equivalent to that of mangoes; 100 g of fresh fruit pulp provides about 75 calories.
Cherimoya, however, contains no saturated fats or cholesterol but charasterically contains a good amount of dietary fiber (about 3g per 100g) that helps to prevent absorption of cholesterol in the gut.
The fiber also helps to protect the mucous membrane of the colon from exposure to toxic substance by binding cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.
The fruit contains several poly-phenolic antioxidants; among them the most prominent are annonaceous acetogenins such as asimicin and bullatacinare that are powerful cytotoxins and have been found to have anti-cancer, anti-malaria, and anti-helminthes properties.
Cherimoya is very rich in vitamin C which helps the human body to develop resistance against infectious agents and to scavenger harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
In addition to all this the fruits are a good source of B-complex vitamins, especially the vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) and the 100g of fresh fruit provides 0,257mg or up to 20% of daily-recommended levels.
Pyridoxine helps our bodies to keep up GABA neurochemicals in the brain, high GABA levels have a calming down effect in nervous irritability, tension and headache.
The fruit also has a well-balanced sodium-potassium ratio.
A good potassium level in the body helps to control heart rate and blood pressure thus countering the bad influences of sodium.
Cherimoya also contains more minerals weight per weight than many common fruits like apples, being rich in copper, magnesium, iron and manganese.
So, enjoy your cherimoyas and make sure to eat one a day to keep that doctor away!
Those are some great benefits to this fruit... I wonder if i have ever tasted it before.ReplyDelete
Cherimoy sound like a good fruit. I like the blend of tastes. I love fruit, so I would definitely try this.ReplyDelete
Wow, I've never even heard of these before. Would love to try it!ReplyDelete
I have never heard of this fruit before but it sounds delicious.ReplyDelete
Didn't even know Cherimoya's were a thing, but if you and Mark Twain approve, looks like I better keep my eyes peeled for them. Nice article.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the info's! :)ReplyDelete
Lots of benefits to this fruit. The smoothie looks great. The tree it comes from a neat looking tree.ReplyDelete
The smoothie looks healthy and for sure its yummy too!!ReplyDelete
I don't think I would have the nerve to try it out. You are very brave.ReplyDelete
This is the first time I have seen that fruit. It's hard to pronounce. I'm interested about its health benefits.ReplyDelete
That's an interesting fruit. I feel like I have had it in yogurt before - maybe Chobani!ReplyDelete
The Cherimoya is very similar to a fruit we call Guyabano and if it taste the same, I'm sure this would be a really tasty and also healthy smoothie.ReplyDelete
I have never seen or heard of this fruit before, looks like a yummy smoothie!ReplyDelete
It looks like Atis. Honestly, I haven't seen this fruit before. But I am glad it is good for the health.ReplyDelete
I've never heard of Cherimoya, this is the first time I've heard about this fruit. Looks like it would make a delicious smoothie though.ReplyDelete
I've never heard of this fruit and I loved learning all the facts. I would love to try a smoothie! Thank you for educating me on something new!ReplyDelete
I love learning about all these new foods from you. This sounds delicious!ReplyDelete
I like that it keeps for several weeks when refrigerated! It's fun to learn about different recipes. These all sound good. :)ReplyDelete
This seems like an interesting fruit. I wonder if I could find a market here in Dallas that sold it.ReplyDelete
You have the most interesting stories about plants! Can you buy this in the US?ReplyDelete
That looks really weird, but as long as it taste good.. it's always nice learning about new foodsReplyDelete
It does look funny but thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
I really love fruit, but I have never tried a Cherimoya before. Just asked my husband and he told me that our markets sell it too. Have to try it!ReplyDelete
Oh this is one of my favorite fruit. It is similar to sour sop which is great for Cancer. Love it anyway possible. Super Delicious!ReplyDelete
I've seen this fruit before but have never tasted it! It just never really appealed to me! Will have to give it a try though after reading this post!ReplyDelete
My daughter wanted to try this the other day and I had no clue what it was. Will have to go back and let her try it now!ReplyDelete
We don't have Cherimoya here but I think there is same species that we can get here but they say it does not have the same taste of Cherimoya. The smoothie made from Cherimoya looks really good.ReplyDelete
I have heard about "custard apple" in the past but I never really knew what it looked like or that it tasted a bit like a 'blend of banana, pineapple, papaya, peach and strawberry'. Oh my! How delicious! I am so delighted that you have enlightened us about the many ways to enjoy cherimoya and it's considerable health benefits at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop! We'll enjoy it! I can't wait to whip up these smoothies!
THis is cool! didn't know about cherimoya before. I remember there's also a makeup named after it. eyeliners :)ReplyDelete
I've never heard of this. The smoothie looks and sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing with Creative Spark Link Party.ReplyDelete
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