Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Various groceries, from $4.99/lb
Google "cherimoya" and you'll inevitably lean that this tropical fruit was hailed by Mark Twain as "deliciousness itself." (It's curious that an early American writer would dominate an such an indirect internet search. Is it because he hit the nail on the head? Or because in the 150 years since his pronouncement, no one has been quite so effusive?)
Originating in either Central or South America, cherimoya shrubs are now grown around the world, particularly in the southern parts of Asia, California, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. The fruit's strikingly bumpy skin is aptly characterized by Wikipedia as "'slightly tubercular," but it's the tendency of its pale flesh to turn creamy when fully ripe that earned cherimoya the English name "custard apple." Flavor notes vary among varietals, but descriptions commonly refer to a combination of other fruits, especially banana and pineapple, leading the first time taster to expect an all-in-one tropical fruit salad. Whether those expectations are met hinges on factors including how far the fruit has had to travel and how well it was treated along the way.