Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cherimoya, the "ice cream fruit"

*Update 1/21/2012. I take back all the negative things I said about this fruit. I had some fresher ones later in my trip and they were so, so, so much better.


There's one fruit I've been wanting to try a long time...and that was the cherimoya. After all, it's what Mark Twain called "the most delicious fruit known to men."  (I was wondering how he managed to snag one, as they only grow in the tropics...apparently he once traveled to Hawaii as a reporter for the Sacramento Union.)

Anyway my photos are pretty disgusting. I got the cherimoya in relatively normal condition this morning from the Hilo Farmer's Market (it was soft and green with only a few small twinges of brown – which meant it was ready to eat), but it got knocked around in my car trunk the entire day, thanks to the abrupt starts and stops along Hawaii Belt Road, which is undergoing construction in multiple places.

It also could have potentially been due to my not ever driving in the past year, but we're not going to explore that option.

So here's a nice picture of a cherimoya (looks a bit snakey doesn't it):


And since my photos are so ugly I'm hiding them til after the jump...

Here's my bruised and battered cherimoya, with a spoon for scale. (It's a broken heart! Hyuk hyuk...)

The most common way of eating it is slicing it in half...

...and then scooping out the soft flesh with a spoon. This is why it's also known as the "ice cream fruit."

You avoid eating the skin and the seeds, which are smooth and glossy and apparently toxic.

Now as for the taste: some people have described it as a combination of bananas, coconut, strawberries, mangoes, pineapple and papayas.

To which my response is WTF? How the hell is anyone supposed to be able to imagine that?

I think it points to the fact that the taste is a little hard to describe. I think it tastes like honeyed pear mixed with syrupy sweet apple, with a mealy mouthfeel. I really didn't like the texture. It was like a grainy puree, not like silky custard.

I think ultimately I was a little disappointed, since I was expecting so much.

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