Planning to Retire Soon!
If you are planning to retire in the Philippines soon, I suggest you visit several excellent websites on pro's and cons of retiring in the Philippines. However if you want to retire in the provinces, where life is simple, standard of living cheaper, less traffic congestion and pollution, availability of fresh seafood and vegetables compared to the big cities, my island province is the place for you! If this is your first time in my site, welcome. Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news in the right side bar of this blog. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on the infringement of your copyrights. The photo above is the front yard of Chateau Du Mer-Our Retirement Home in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
CHERIMOYAS-the Most Delicious Fruit Known to Men
The cherimoya (Annona cherimola) is a species of Annona native to the Andean-highland valleys of Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. It is a deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub or small tree reaching 7 m tall. The leaves are alternate, simple, oblong-lanceolate, 7–15 cm long and 6–10 cm broad. The flowers are produced in small clusters, each flower 2–3 cm across, with six petals, yellow-brown, often spotted purple at the base.
The fruit is oval, often slightly oblique, 10–20 cm long and 7–10 cm diameter, with a smooth or slightly tuberculated skin. The fruit flesh is white, and has numerous seeds embedded in it. Mark Twain called the cherimoya "the most delicious fruit known to men." This fruit is now grown in a farm in Santa Barbara, California. A friend from The Los Angeles area has a couple of cherimoya trees in his backyard.
The Moche culture of Peru had a fascination with agriculture and represented fruits and vegetables in their art. Cherimoyas were often depicted in their ceramics.
The tree thrives throughout the tropics at altitudes of 1,300 to 2,600 m (4,300 to 8,500 ft). Though sensitive to frost, it must have periods of cool temperatures or the tree will gradually go dormant. The indigenous inhabitants of the Andes say that although the cherimoya cannot stand snow, it does like to see it in the distance. It is cultivated in many places throughout the Americas, including California, where it was introduced in 1871, and Hawaii. In the Mediterranean region, it is cultivated mainly in southern Spain, Morocco, Madeira, Lebanon, Egypt and Israel. The first planting in Italy was in 1797 and it became a favored crop in the Province of Reggio Calabria. It is also grown in Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand.
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, papaya, peach, and strawberry. Others describe it as tasting like commercial bubblegum. Similar in size to a grapefruit, it has large, glossy, dark seeds that are easily removed. The seeds are poisonous if crushed open and can be used as an insecticide. An extractive of the bark can induce paralysis if injected. When ripe the skin is green and gives slightly to pressure, similar to the avocado.
When shopping, one should look for large fruit which are uniformly green. Avoid fruit 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 they yield to gentle pressure.
Different varieties have different characteristics of flavor, texture, and fruit shape contours. Contours can range from imprint areoles, flat areoles, slight bump or point areoles, full areoles - and combinations of the above. The flavor of the flesh ranges from mellow sweet to tangy/acidic sweet, with variable suggestions of pineapple, banana, pear, papaya, strawberry/'berry', and/or apple, depending on the variety. The usual characterization of flavor is 'pineapple/banana' flavor, similar to the flavor of the Monstera deliciosa fruit.
When the fruit is soft-ripe/fresh-ripe and still has the 'fresh' fully mature greenish/greenish-yellowish skin color, the texture is like that of a soft-ripe pear and papaya. If the skin is allowed to turn fully brown, yet the flesh has not 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 has been under normal refrigeration for 'too long' -a day or two maybe.
Fresh cherimoya contains about 15% sugar (about 60kcal/100g) and some vitamin C (up to 20 mg/100g).Cherimoya and other members of the Annonaceae family also contain small amounts of neurotoxic alkaloids such as annonacin, which appear to be linked to atypical parkinsonism in Guadeloupe.
Sugar Apple or Ates in the Philippines
I have never tasted a cherimiya but I love a similar fruit that I grew in Marinduque called the sugar apple and locally known as ates.