Sunday, May 29, 2011

Have You Tried: Cherimoya?

     The cherimoya is an odd, angular looking vaguely melon/pear shaped fruit that is native to the rain forests of South America. It is occasionally referred to as a "custard apple" because the flavor is vaguely reminiscent of vanilla pudding in a soft apple/pear texture. Once you try this delicate, dekicious, custard like fruit that has such an odd rind, you'll agree that the luscious flavors reminiscent of papaya, banana, mango, passionfruit, lemon, and pineapple - and its ice-cream consistency - make this a Clean Eater's delight.
How to ripen

When buying cherimoya, choose firm, unripe fruit that are heavy for their size, then place them somewhere out of the sun and allow to ripen at room temperature. Check your cherimoya every couple of days for softness. The fruit should feel as soft as an almost-ripe avocado, with a little give but not squishy. The skin may turn brownish as the cherimoya ripens, which doesn’t affect the flesh. Don’t cut into it when you first notice ripeness, give it a day or two more, but don’t wait too long or the sugars in the flesh will begin to ferment. Once ripe, cherimoya can be refrigerated for up to 4 days, wrapped in a paper towel. 

Eating cherimoya

To eat, cut your cherimoya in half lengthways and either: scoop out succulent spoonfuls; eat like a watermelon, scraping the rind to get every bit of sweet flesh; peel and cut into cubes and add to fruit salads; puree and use as a mousse or pie filling. Don't eat the seeds! They are inedible.

Cherimoya, Kiwi, and Strawberry Salad

1 chermioya, chopped
1 large kiwi, sliced
Handful of strawberries, quartered
Lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon (approximately) agave nectar

Add the cherimoya to a bowl and spritz with a small amount of lemon juice. Add the remaining ingredients and toss well but gently to combine.