Julie brings me the most interesting stuff to try. I have seen cherimoya at the stores but had never know how to eat it so never bought it to try but she brought me one and I had to check it out.
The name origninates form the Quechua word chirimuya, which means "cold seeds" because the plant
grows at high altitudes and the seeds will germinate at higher altitudes. The indigenous inhabitants of the Andes say that althought the cherimoya cannot stand snow, it does like to see it in the distance.
It is cultivated in many places throughout the Americas, including here in California where it was introduced in 1981 and in Hawaii.
The fruit is fleshy and soft, sweet, white in color, with a sherbet-like texture, which gives it its secondary name, custard apple. Some characterize the flavor as a blend of banana, pineapple, and strawberry. Others describe it as tasting like commercial bubblegum. I tasted a hint of sweet ripe pear I thought. The texture is like that of a soft ripe pear and papaya. Similar in size to a grapefruit, it has large, glossy, dark seeds that are easily removed. I am told that the seeds are poisonous if crushed open and can be used as an insecticide.
This is a little excerpt from Wikipedia on how to buy and store it:
When ripe, the skin is green and gives slightly to pressure, similar to the avocado.When shopping, one should look for large fruit which is uniformly green. Avoid fruits with cracks or mostly browned skin. Ripe fruit may be kept in the refrigerator, but it is best to let immature cherimoyas ripen at room temperature, until it yields to gentle pressure. Different varieties have different characteristics of flavor, texture, and fruit shape contours. If the skin is allowed to turn fully brown, yet the flesh hasn't fermented or gone 'bad', 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's been under normal refrigeration for 'too long' - a day or two maybe.
Julie, you are opening up the world of culinary goodies to my family. Thanks again!