This week I tasted a fruit, that was new to me, with some colleagues. Known as cherimoya, the fruit originated in Central America but is now cultivated in other parts of the Mediterranean.
And how can I describe the taste? It is soft, fragrant and sweet, with a texture not dissimilar to banana but more velvety. The taste is certainly exotic, a combination of pears, pineapple and banana, and everyone who tasted it during our TV food program this week loved it. It needs mature and ripe when consumed. The skin is green but darkens as it ripens and this is the time to eat it. It is also known as "Custard Apple".
I was very impressed to discover all the health benefits. Not only is it a great source of vitamin C and contains powerful antioxidants, but it provides a high level of B Complex vitamins that help with tension, headaches and anxiety. It also contains powerful cytotoxins that are believed to have anti-cancer and anti-tumerous properties especially in mammary, pancreatic and colon cancer cells. It was also used to cure anemia and arthritis.
The fruit is best eaten on its own. Its sweetness and its distinctive flavour does not need any additional ingredients as this would be a waste of a food that comes naturally complete. Cooking would destroy not only the flavours and texture, but also its nutritional value.
Every person that tasted it, loved it. We found it was best eaten halved and scooped out with a teaspoon, eaten straight as it is. It makes a lovely sorbet and it can also be added to make smoothies and fresh juices, although I will repeat myself and say that we all thought it is best eaten as it is, as soon as it is sliced open. The seeds are inedible. It is high in fibre, promotes hair growth and delays signs of ageing and contains zero cholesterol.
The best way to store this wonder fruit is in an airy basket. It should not be refridgerated as the skin will immediately darken as soon as it hits the cold temperature. The cherimoya has a very short shelf life, so if you decide to try it, make sure it is eaten in a couple of days, depending on how ripe it is when you buy it.
I think it would make an ideal breakfast, halved and eaten over two days.
Calories around 230 per fruit
High in anti oxidants
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