I am a huge fan of learning about and trying new fruits as well as of course eating my favorite fruits. I first heard about the Cherimoya when I was shopping at Lowes for trees to grow. There it was, a little Cherimoya sapling being intrigued, I bought it.
The famous American writer, Mark Twain, wrote, “The Cherimoya is the most delicious fruit known to men.” Is he right?
In this article, you will learn all about the Cherimoya, where it comes from, and where it is cultivated. You will also learn what the nutritional benefits are, how to eat it, and what it tastes like.
Let’s get started!
Where does the Cherimoya come from and where does it grow?
The cherimoya (Annona cherimola) also spelled, chirimoya, chirimuya also goes by the name custard apple although the custard apple is a different fruit belonging to the same family (Annona reticulata.) It is closely related to the sweetsop and soursop fruits which all belong to the family Annonaceae.
It is native to Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, and Bolivia. However, it is cultivated all around the world in Central America, South America, Southern California, Florida, Hawaii, South Asia, Australia, North Africa, Portugal, Southern Spain, in the Mediterranean, Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, India, Thailand, to name several of them. There are other places and countries that grow it as well.
Cherimoya trees thrive in the tropics at higher elevations, between 4000 and 8000 feet but do not like frost and snow.
It is believed that it originated first in Central and South America, then it spread to other countries. As explorers returned back to their homelands with this amazing fruit.
It doesn’t grow very well in the Phoenix desert where I live, after a few years of struggling in a pot, my sapling died on me. The Atemoya, which is a hybrid between the Cherimoya and the sugar apple is a little better suited to growing where I live.
What are the nutritional benefits of the Cherimoya?
The cherimoya is loaded with nutritional benefits. Below are a few of them:
- Rich in vitamin C
- High in fiber
- Moderate amount of lutein
- May reduce inflammation
- Support the immune system
- Moderat amounts of potassium and magnesium
For more health benefits visit WebMD and Healthline.
How to eat the Cherimoya?
The cherimoya is a fairly good-sized fruit that is green with hints of brown and black. The shape is very similar to a heart. The outside skin is somewhat smooth and has a scaly look to it. It kind of reminds me of a dragon’s egg.
How do you know when it is ripe?
You will know when it is ripe when you gently squeeze it with your palms it should give to the pressure, similar to avocado and pear. There should not be too much black or brown coloring on the skin.
They are normally picked before being fully ripe so they can last longer before they are sold. Most likely when you buy it at the supermarket you will want to let it sit at room temperature for a few days to soften up and ripen more.
To eat it, just cut it in half with a knife.
Then you will seed smooth black or dark seeds. Use a knife or spoon and scoop those out. They are not edible, do not eat them. They may be poisonous. The skin is not edible either.
Inside you will seed a beautiful white custard-looking flesh. It should be soft, if it is too hard the fruit is not ripe yet. Cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for a few more days to soften more.
You can cut it into chunks and eat it that way. Or a lot of people will just dig the flesh out with a spoon and eat it.
The Cherimoya or custard apple is commonly eaten fresh/raw or put in smoothies, ice cream, and yogurt.
What does Cherimoya or Custard Apple taste like?
When ripe the flesh will be soft and custard-like. The texture will be similar to custard as well with a little bit of stringiness to it.
To me, the texture is extremely pleasant. Taste is very subjective, but it has been described by others as tasting like a mix between a pineapple, banana, strawberry, papaya, and peach. I am inclined to agree with them.
The Cherimoya tastes very similar to that to me. And since those are some of my favorite fruits, that puts this fruit in my top favorite fruits category right up there with the mangosteen.
The strawberry has long since been my favorite fruit of all time, but the mangosteen, pineapple, mango, are a very close second place.
I hope you enjoyed learning about the amazing fruit, called the Cherimoya. If it is good enough to be called “the most delicious fruit” by Mark Twain, it is good enough for me.
Let me know if you have tasted it before and what you think about it in the comments!
Watch my video about the amazing Cherimoya:
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No, I haven’t tasted the cherimoya before. I’d love to. Thanks for sharing about it, Matt!
You are welcome!
I wonder if Cherimoya is what they call soursop in Jamaica – looks very similar. They make a fantastic juice from it – so creamy and just delicious. I’m not sure if we can get it in Europe – at least not at each supermarket.
Hi there! They are different fruits but in the same family. 🙂 You are right so creamy and delicious!
I just purchased a cherimoya at my local Lidl in the Netherlands. If they have a Lidl in the country you’re at, you might find them there!
That is awesome you found it in the Netherlands!!
Wow another wild fruit.. This one though reminds me of Guyabano.. I am not sure if they are the same.. They look quite different outside but the interior looks exactly the same
Thanks! Guyabano is also called Soursop. It is in the same family as Cherimoya. 🙂
This is the first time I’ve seen that fruit. We have in here called Atis that looks a little similar to cherimoya.
Yep an Atis is a Sugar Apple, it is in the same family as the Cherimoya. 🙂
This is my first to hear of it actually. I would love to try this fruit.
Definitely try it out sometime if you get the chance. 🙂
I’ve never had this before but it looks interesting. Now, I know about it. I’m going to get one and try it. Fransic – https://www.querianson.com
Awesome! Let me know how you like it once you get to try it.
I’m familiar with this fruit as we have this in my country. I’m not really a fruit lover but custard apple is admittedly delicious.
They are delicious, just wish they were cheaper here! haha
I thought it was sugar-apple for a second. I haven’t tasted this fruit yet but it looks really good!
they are super good!
this looks like an atis but not an atis! hahaha it seem like a sour-soup..
it’s in the same family as sour sop but it is a different fruit.
You gave me the perfect idea if I can find this locally. If I dress as Khaleesi for Halloween, these can be my Dragon Eggs! #MotherofDragons it is! Thanks! 🙂
lol yes!! These would make perfect dragon eggs haha 🙂
I’ve never heard of this fruit before but it sounds like its amazing. Would love to try it one day.
Awesome, hopefully you do get to try it sometime.
That’s a neat looking fruit! Truthfully, I’d probably just try it because it’s different.
Trying new fruit is so fun!
I don’t think I have ever had cherimoya. It would be neat to find one to try.
Definitely try it sometime if you get the chance!
I first mistook it for custard apple, a favorite fruit among our community. I never had heard about the Cherimoya here. Thanks for the detailed post.
Custard apple is another name for these. 🙂 Not to be confused with soursop or sweetsop although they are closely related to each other.
Ohhh didn’t know it’s called that. We call it Atis in our country and It’s one of the cheap but delicious fruit we love buying.
Wow I’ve seen this at Whole Foods and never really knew what to do with it! Next time I see a cherimoya I’ll definitely give it a try! Thanks Matt.
Awesome! Yes, definitely give them a try next time you see them, so amazing!
Thanks for all the great information. I have never seen these in the store but I would love to try one. I need to ask at my local stores.
If you have a Sprouts near you, sometimes they carry it, or definitely check your local Asian/International market. They should carry them there when they are in season. 🙂
You have me completely intruiged! I can’t wait to try this, thank you!
You are welcome, Pat! I hope you get to try it sometime.