The cherimoya, often called the custard apple or chirimoya, is a delicious tropical fruit with a surprisingly sweet flavor and an abundance of small, edible seeds. It's native to the Andes Mountains of Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela. The cherimoya is one of the most popular fruits in South America and has been grown for centuries.
The cherimoya has a unique appearance for a fruit. It has an irregular, oblong shape that can reach up to 8 inches long with a slightly bumpy green exterior. The bumps on the skin look like wrinkles and can easily form when the fruit is handled. When ripe, the skin should give slightly to the touch and its color may range from green to light green or yellow.
The texture of the cherimoya is also quite unique. Inside its wrinkled skin, the fruit has a soft, creamy texture that’s slightly grainy due to the many small edible seeds. These seeds can easily be removed if desired. When cut in half, the cherimoya is white or creamy in color, with a custard-like texture and a sweet flavor.
The flavor of the cherimoya has been described as a unique combination of pineapple, banana, mango, and peach. It's very sweet, yet it has a refreshing acidity to off-set the sweetness.
The cherimoya fruit is often eaten raw, either plain or with a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. It’s a great addition to salads, smoothies, desserts, and frozen treats. In addition, it can be cooked and used as a cooking ingredient.
The cherimoya is also known for its health benefits. For starters, it’s a great source of phytonutrients and antioxidants, which can help boost the immune system, protect against disease, and reduce inflammation in the body. It’s also rich in minerals, including potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iron. And, since it’s low in calories and fat-free, it’s an ideal choice for a healthy snack. Finally, it’s a good source of fiber and contains significant amounts of vitamin C, A, and B–complex vitamins.
When selecting cherimoya fruits from the store, it’s important to choose ones that are ripe. Ripe cherimoyas will be heavy for their size, with a slightly wrinkled skin that gives slightly to the touch. Avoid cherimoyas that feel too hard or have large dents or bruises on the skin. The fruit should also smell sweet and fragrant.
Once you’ve brought it home, the cherimoya can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. If it’s already ripe, it’s best to eat it right away or within the next two days.
Both local and imported cherimoyas are available in specialty stores or produce markets year-round, though they peak in the winter and spring. However, since these fruits don’t always look ripe in the store, it’s best to buy when in season to ensure you get the freshest, sweetest fruit possible.
So there you have it – the delicious, nutritious cherimoya fruit! With its unique flavor and texture, this tropical treat is sure to tantalize your taste buds. Whether eaten raw or cooked, it’s sure to be a hit with friends and family alike. So next time you’re looking for something sweet and healthy, give the cherimoya a try!
The Cherimoya is a delicious and exotic fruit found throughout tropical and subtropical regions in both Africa, South America and Asia. Originating in the mountain valleys of Peru, this dark-green, segmented, and custard-textured fruit has been enjoyed for centuries for its bold flavors and velvety texture. A ripe Cherimoya is full of essential vitamins and minerals and has been recognized for its numerous health benefits including improved digestion and a reduced risk of chronic disease. But how does this delectable fruit get from its idyllic origin to end up on somebody’s dinner plate?
To truly understand how a Cherimoya travels from its origin to a dinner plate, it must first be discussed how exactly it is created. The Cherimoya tree grows the prickly fruits in large clusters, each of which carry individual scales atop them and usually weigh in between one and two pounds when ripe. During the blossoming season, small white flowers can be seen growing from the plant, which will become the segments of the Cherimoya with the help of pollinating insects and birds. Once the flower petals have all fallen off, the Cherimoya fruit is ready to be harvested by hand.
When it comes to harvesting, timing is key; as the Cherimoya continues to ripen after it is picked, the pickers must be careful to not pluck too early, as the flavor will not yet be fully developed. Additionally, due to the Cherimoya’s naturally spiky exterior and its soft interior, it must be handled with extreme care. As a result, the fruit is often collected in specially-made baskets that are lined with a soft cloth to ensure the Cherimoyas arrive to their destination undisturbed and free from bruising.
After all the fruits have been collected from the tree, the Cherimoyas are then transported to nearby residential areas, where local vendors will take them to the local market and, likely, to larger cities for international sale. Depending on the distance of transport, the Cherimoyas can either be taken with a pick-up truck or shipped in larger containers to their destinations. It is important to understand that when traveling, the Cherimoyas must always be kept at room temperature to ensure the best quality before sale.
Once the Cherimoyas have arrived at their destination, wholesalers will inspect the whole crop, check for quality, and make sure that the fruits meet safety standards. Only the finest fruits will make it past this stage, and they will be proceed to be packaged and identified according to share. The fruits are either then labeled according to weight or sold in pre-created boxes with the branding of the supplier. Importers and distributors will then purchase these boxes and supply the produce to local supermarkets where they will be sold to the customer.
Finally, the Cherimoyas make it to their destination: the dinner plate. After being plucked off the store shelf, the Cherimoya is then brought home, where the customers can enjoy it for days before it has to be discarded. The Cherimoya is incredibly easy to eat due to its soft, creamy texture; all you have to do is cut it open and spoon out the insides. And because of the fruit’s high content of vitamins and minerals and its sweet-tart flavor, you can be safe knowing that whenever you’re enjoying a Cherimoya, you’re also enjoying a healthy snack.
From its origins in the mountains of Peru to end up on the dinner plate, the Cherimoya has a long and intriguing journey. From the careful time taken for it to ripen on the tree, to being trekked through the South American terrain and shipped across oceans, the Cherimoya faces many obstacles before it meets its consumer. But, with its sweet and creamy flavor and essential health benefits, the Cherimoya is well worth the wait.
|Vitamin E||0.27 mg|
|Vitamin C||0.0126 grams|
|Vitamin B1||0.1 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.13 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.64 mg|
|Vitamin B5||0.35 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.26 mg|
|Vitamin B9||0.023 mg|
Daily Value 1.3 g
Daily Value 0.018 g
Daily Value 0.4 g
Daily Value 1.25 g
Daily Value 4.7 g
Daily Value 2.3 g
Daily Value 0.011 g
Daily Value 0.9 mg
Daily Value 0.0023 g
|Aspartic Acid||0.105 grams|
|Glutamic Acid||0.199 grams|
|Total Sugars||12.9 grams||
|Capric acid (10:0)||0.05 grams||
|Lauric acid (12:0)||0.01 grams||
|Myristic acid (14:0)||0.01 grams||
|Palmitic acid (16:0)||0.1 grams||
|Stearic acid (18:0)||0.05 grams||
|Arachidic acid (20:0)||0.01 grams||
|Lignoceric acid (24:0)||0.01 grams||
|Total Saturated fatty acids:||0.24 g|
|Oleic acid (18:1)||0.02 grams||
|Palmitoleic acid (16:1)||0.03 grams||
|Total Monounsaturated fatty acids:||0.05 g|
|Omega-3 Alpha-linolenic acid (18:3)||0.16 grams||
|Linolenic acid (18:3)||0.16 grams||
|Linoleic acid (18:2)||0.03 grams||
|Total Polyunsaturated fatty acids:||0.35 g|