Our youngest daughter shares my love of this old fashioned fruit. She knows that if mum is found quietly nibbling on a new food and making no comment on it then it must be good. I mistakenly thought I could get away with my quiet nibbling and the children might not notice. Ha! They notice everything. Especially food. In the same way she discovered raw asparagus was good…and avocado…and mushrooms. But I digress.
Back to cherimoyas. Their common name is custard apple, and they are a native of (South America). They couldn’t win a fruit beauty contest; they remain green even when ripe and to look at you’d wonder if they were related to an artichoke. Where an artichoke’s scales are real, a cherimoya is in texture only and reminds me of a dragon. But the taste, oh the taste! The texture is creamy, reminiscent of custard, and flavoured gently of faint pineapple and sorbet; ever so slightly tangy but mostly sweet. Their only downfall is that they are riddled with pear shaped brown pips about the size of a small bean, probably 30 - 40 in each fruit. This makes them unsuitable for very young children unless you mash through one and find all the pips first. I spoon up fruit and pips, let my tongue and teeth do the sorting and politely put the pips back on my spoon. If I’m outside and no-one is around I spit them into the garden J not very lady-like but convenient.
Above I mentioned that I’d bought a box. When they all started to ripen at once I had a glut so I froze some for smoothies and dried more for my raw muesli or just for snacks. I’m onto my second box now.
I’ve been buying them from an organic orchardist in Northland (email@example.com). The only other place I’ve seen them is at Passion Produce in Hobsonville. There will be other outlets, I’m sure but let’s just say they not exactly common supermarket fruit.
When the cherimoya season is over which is too short, I can say that I fully took advantage of the time and satisfied, I move on to the next yummy seasonal fruit. By then it will be just about strawberry time…cherries…raspberries…plums. Oh, yum! It is so easy to be raw over Summer.