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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Custard Apple - 'Cherimoya - Annona cherimola' - fam: Annonaceae

A native of South, and later, Central America, the Custard Apple, better known as 'Cherimoya' - Annona cherimola. It is a tree and fruit, grown commercially in Australia, South America, Asia, Spain, Italy, and California. Is said, by Mark Twain, to be the most delicious fruit known to men. 1

The Custard Apple has four varieties: 2
  • Selma - small to medium sized fruits, with mostly white pulp, tinted with pink. Notably, it is one of the only cherimoya varieties, showing pink color in its pulp.
  • McPherson - medium sized fruits, with a rich fruity flavour. The skin is bumpy, and soft, with soft flesh. Excellent flavour. It is similar to 'El Bumpo'.
  • El Bumpo - medium to large sized fruits, with very soft skin and flesh. Fruits bruise easily. It is delicious, and sweet in flavour, and considered one of the best. Its skin has prominent bumps making the fruit look a bit like an Atemoya - annona cherimola x squamosa.
  • Bays - It has medium sized fruits, with an excellent flavour, showing tones of citrus. The skin somewhat smooth.

The name, Custard Apple, is a great misnomer, as the fruit tastes little like an apple, nor custard, athough some say it does. It is absolutely wonderful to eat, the black seeds being a continual problem with each mouthful. The flavour of the flesh, ranges from mellow sweet, to tangy, or acidic sweet, with variable suggestions of pineapple, banana, pear, papaya, strawberry, or other berries, depending on the variety. The usual characterization of flavour is "pineapple/banana" flavour, similar to the flavour of the Monstera deliciosa fruit.

When the fruit is soft-ripe/fresh-ripe, and still has the fresh, fully mature greenish/greenish-yellowish skin color, the texture is like that of a soft-ripe pear and papaya. If the skin is allowed to turn fully brown, yet the flesh has not fermented, then the texture can be 'custard-like'. Often, when the skin turns brown at room temperature, the fruit is no longer good for human consumption. Also, the skin turns brown if it has been under normal refrigeration for too long - a day or two maybe.

REFERENCE: Wikipedia1 - Trade Winds Fruit 2


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