The cherimoya (cher-uh-MOY-uh) surprises at every turn! It's a tropical fruit that grows in the cold high altitudes. And that's just the beginning...
The name "cherimoya" is derived from the Quechua (Incan) word, "chirimuya", meaning "cold seeds" as the seeds will germinate in altitudes up to six thousand feet.
The flower that begets this fruit is hermaphroditic. It begins it's life female and within a matter of hours, transitions to male. This procession means it can't self-pollinate: by the time the pollen is produced, the ovum has withered.
Scientists believe a beetle makes the match, collecting pollen from male stamens, and delivering it to female ovums before they, too, transition.
When cultivated on a farm outside of the cherimoya's natural habitat, each flower has to be pollinated by hand.
And it's worth it! This fruit is a fruity-tuity tropical explosion! Mark Twain called it, "the most delicious fruit known to men." We agree but, ahem, women like it too.
Ripe Cherimoya have a delicate, sweet flavor and texture that is most apparent when eaten fresh. But if you are looking to spruce up some recipes, here are a few easy favorites…
But steer clear of the seeds. They're poisonous!
To store, keep at room temperature until ripe. Wrap ripe fruit and refrigerate up to four days.
You can find cherimoya at Pedro's Organic Ranch stand! Get them while they last! Cherimoya season starts in late fall and runs through winter and spring.