What's a Cherimoya?

If you’ve spotted a strange, irregularly ovoid, mottled, scaly-patterned greenish fruit at the market recently and wondered what on earth that thing was, you were probably looking at a cherimoya, my friend. This tropical fruit, also known as a “custard apple,” is grown in many areas around the world and domestically in California, and it is in season and available from November through May.

Curious about this peculiar-looking fruit? Here are a few things to know:

  • The taste of cherimoyas has been described as a “delicate combination of pineapple, papaya and banana.” Some people taste notes of mango and vanilla.
  • The consistency of the flesh is sort of creamy, yet firm and custardy, velvety even.
  • You want to avoid eating the large, hard black seeds nestled within the flesh; they’re said to be toxic.
  • When purchasing, look for cherimoyas that are light-colored, firm, heavy and blemish-free – not the ones with brown spots.
  • Ripen at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Once they are ripe (they give a little to gentle pressure), wrap them up and refrigerate them. They’ll stay ripe and edible for about four days. (Don’t let them over-ripen or they won’t be as tasty.)
  • Cherimoyas taste good chilled. Just break them in half, spoon out the flesh and remove the seeds. Or peel and slice them (again, discarding the seeds).
  • You can feel virtuous about eating them: Cherimoyas are rich in niacin, iron and vitamin C. (Here’s more nutritional information about the fruit.)
     

    Put this seasonal fruit to work in Aarón Sánchez’s recipe for Bananas Faustos with Cherimoya Salsa. Yum.

    Photo courtesy of iStock

Next Up

A Meal in a Muffin

These savory baked goods deliver a complete meal in a single cup.

Pop-A-Waffle — Truck-a-Day

Their sweet and savory menu offers waffle-based takes on strawberry shortcake, fajitas and more, proving waffles are perfect for way more than just breakfast and dessert.

Pack a Picnic Like a Pro — INFOGRAPHIC

There is a wrong way to prep for a picnic. Get it right with these eight tips.

Barbecue: A Classic and a New Kid

This month, we've handpicked two cookbooks devoted to that mouthwatering marriage of meat and smoke that will urge you to partake before summer officially ends. The first is one of the most-classic books we have on the subject, and the second is sure to become one.

A Vegetarian Pantry

Keep your cupboards, freezer and crisper stocked with these essentials.

Buying a Grill

Guidelines for deciding which grill type is right for you

Apple A-Ha!

Get the most out of your fall trip to the local apple orchard with these fast and festive ways to use your apples!

Win a Lunchbox!

We're giving away one SoYoung lunchbox each to three randomly-selected commenters.