Though cultivated in Florida, this cross between cherimoya and sweetsop is a native of South America and the West Indies. About the size of a large bell pepper, the atemoya has a tough dusty green skin that has a rough petal configuration. The custardlike pulp is cream-colored and studded with a smattering of large black seeds. Its delicate, sweet flavor tastes like a blend of mango and vanilla. Atemoyas are in season from late summer through late fall. Though they often split slightly at their stem end when ripe, it's best to buy them when they're pale green and tender with unbroken skin. The fruit can continue to ripen at room temperature at home. Refrigerate ripe atemoyas 3 to 5 days. They're best served chilled. Simply halve the fruit, spoon out the pulp and enjoy. Atemoyas are high in potassium and vitamins C and K.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.