I was walking through the produce section yesterday and came across this very awkward looking fruit. Turns out it was a Cherimoya. Luckily, for non-Cherimoya buying consumers as myself, the fruit was labeled with a nice and tidy sign explaining its characteristics. Whole Foods had the fruit labeled tropical, with a flavor combination of banana, pineapple, and pear. I thought I would give it a try – why not?
The Cherimoya is an oblong-ish fruit; my particular fruit happened to be heart-shaped. About the size of a grapefruit, the cherimoya has a thin leathery skin and is ripe when it is soft to the touch (similar to judging a ripe avocado.) The fruit has a creamy white flesh and large seeds, which are easy to remove. Cherimoyas are native to the highlands of Ecuador and Peru and grow on a shurb/small tree.
So now to the taste…. I admit that I had high hopes, but unfortunately the Cherimoya is not for us (Scott and I, that is). My first honest impression was that the fruit tasted like fake candy. You know, a really cheap piece of candy that tries and fails miserably to recreate a certain flavor, ie a pineapple gum drop? Anyways, that is pretty much what I get from the fruit. The flesh is wonderfully soft – similar to a perfectly ripe pear. Scott’s reaction (independent of mine) was that the fruit was super sweet and tasted like there was chemicals in the fruit to make it sweet. I don’t get any specific fruit flavors (such as the suggested pineapple and banana,) but the flavor does oddly enough resemble bubble gum.
So this one was a miss for us, but fun to try nonetheless. Next time you come across this odd-looking green grapefruit, you’ll know that it is indeed a Cherimoya and hopefully you will be brave enough to try it and create your own opinions.