I love my fruit and since living here, I have some exotic favourites. Well to me they are exotic as I hadn´t heard of or seen some of them when we lived in the UK. Here you can buy these in most supermarkets but I particularly like the Farmers Markets where you can pick them over to ensure you get just the quantity you need and there are no hidden squidgy ones lurking in the bottom of a pre-packaged tray.
The other day I saw what looked like a prehistoric artichoke, so naturally, I had to pick it up and take it home. The label said cherimoya, I was baffled that I’d never heard of it, so before I could eat it, I had to learn what to do. (How did we manage before Google?).
Turns out the cherimoya is native to Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. Its appearance isn’t exactly captivating but it is called the king of fruit, no surprise given that it was originally reserved for Inca royalty.
Once I knew more, I got down to business and cut the fruit in half. They are best eaten when they are fully ripe and the flavour is most intense when eaten at room temperature or just slightly chilled. The skin sliced easily and inside was ivory, custard-like flesh smooth and creamy, with large black seeds (steer well clear unless you plan to visit the dentist).
What does a cherimoya taste like? In a word AMAZING, I thought it was an intoxicating combination of bananas, strawberries, and mangos. OH, after just one spoonful said he could taste pineapple, papayas, overripe pear, and he didn’t like it at all.
I ate my half and because it was so delicious (what are a few germs after 40 plus years together) put cling film round OH’s and popped in the fridge for the next day. I was a bit disappointed that it had discoloured and it put me off just eating it with a spoon so rather than waste it I made a shake with a cup of icy cold milk and a grating of nutmeg sprinkled on the top. Exquisite, so simple and a great guilt-free dessert.
Although they are quite pricey once you have tasted a cherimoya you’ll understand why (again, according to Google!) Mark Twain called it “the most delicious fruit known to man.” Go on, spoil yourself!