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Cherimoya: Nature's Ice Cream

Cherimoya: Nature's Ice Cream

The other day I was at the grocery store and saw what looked like a cartoon version of an artichoke. It was unbelievably cute and reminded me of something one of my favorite artists (S. Britt) might draw. So naturally, I had to pick it up and take it home with me. To learn about this cute cherimoya, and to get a great low-fat totally guilt-free dessert recipe,

The label on the fruit said cherimoya, and I was baffled by the fact that I'd never heard of it before (I grew up being exposed to all kinds of interesting fruit). So before I could eat it, I had to learn more about it. Turns out the cherimoya is native to Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, and that the name means "cold seeds," since the seeds will germinate in higher altitude.

Once I knew more, I got down to business and cut the fruit in half. The skin, was easy to slice through, much like an avocado skin, and the flesh was smooth and creamy (in texture and color), with large black seeds. My mom always jokes that fruit is "like ice cream," but really this fruit was like ice cream, the consistency is amazing. I used a spoon to scoop out the flesh (sort of like an avocado), and was pleasantly surprised by the flavor. If I had to compare it to another fruit I'd say it was like papaya crossed with banana and maybe a hint of overripe pear.

I ate half of it plain and then decided to make a simple treat out of the other half. It was such a perfect dessert, I was giddy over how simple and guilt-free it was.

Cherimoya Shake
Flesh from 1 ripe cherimoya, scooped out and seeds removed
1 1/2 cups milk (I used 1%)
freshly grated nutmeg

Blend cherimoya flesh and milk together in blender until evenly mixed.
Pour into tall glass.
Sprinkle with grated nutmeg.

Add less or more milk to gain desired consistency.

It sounds ridiculously simple, but it was honestly just like a milkshake, only without the guilt!

Join The Conversation
andaman andaman 10 years
urmm looks interesting. I should pick one up if i ever see them here in london.
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 10 years
Thanks for the nutritional info Yum!
Holly_G Holly_G 10 years
In Florida you can find them in Publix, but they are WAY overpriced, maybe around $4-$5 for only one (in Peru you could buy one with $1 or less).
Mademoiselle Mademoiselle 10 years
Yep, they are called "custard apple" in India. They are also known by the Hindu's as "sitafaal" i.e. Sita's fruit. Sita is a Hindu godess - Ram's wife in the Ramayana.
Food Food 10 years
Sorry guys, I don't know the cost (it was an impulse buy, but I think it was on the pricey side), also, here's a site that has nutrional info. Gabby, I found it at bristol farms in SF, but know that many local farmer's markets carry them too (I believe a geek told me he found them at the Alemany one). Whole Foods would be worth a try and a well stocked Chinatown or Asian grocery store would be worth looking into too. Good luck hunting it down, it really is delicious!
lauren lauren 10 years
I used to live in Santa Barbara and that is where I discovered cherimoyas. There is a farmer locally that grows both cherimoyas and avocado. They can ship them by the box, here is the site:
Gabby Gabby 10 years
Love them! Eating one is like a meal. I just cut it in half and eat it out of there with a spoon. The best cherimoyas I ever had were in spain and egypt (never tried any other kind actually). In egypt they call them ishta which i think means cream. Anyone in the Bay Area know where I can find them?
3Sweeties 3Sweeties 10 years
Iv'e heard of these (I read cookbooks for fun) but I've never seen one. It sounds so delicious! I wonder how the fruit would hold up to being briefly frozen, then it would really taste like ice cream. BTW, how much was it?
ccsugar ccsugar 10 years
Yeah nutritional info would be great! Can you find these at like Whole Foods??
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 10 years
wow!! I've never heard of this before but it sounds divine! Do you know the nutritional info on this, too??
rubialala rubialala 10 years
I've never heard of this, I'll have to look for it. I can't wait to try it.
vanessasanchez vanessasanchez 10 years
I lived in a town on the Tropical Coast of Spain for a year, and the town literally lived on this stuff. It grew everywhere! Personally, I don't like chirimoya, but I'm picky! My family went crazy over it, though!
Desirella Desirella 10 years
I LOVE trying new fruits but have never encountered this one, I hope I encounter it soon!
Holly_G Holly_G 10 years
In Peru they call them Chirimoya, they're awesome and make great shakes. Guanabanas are similar in taste, although I haven't seen them being sold in the US. In Peru, they make an excellent Guanabana soufflé. P.S.: It's spelled ColOmbia, not Columbia.
kittycat kittycat 10 years
OMG!!!!!!!! i go nuts for these! they are so sweet and creamy. tastes really like soft ice cream with irresistible tropical smell! these are mostly available at chinatowns. i think they are seasonal.
StilettoHeeled StilettoHeeled 10 years
My family is from Thailand and when I saw this post, I immediately thought of the Thai "custard-apple" fruit. I've never seen it in the states, but I definitely want to try a cherimoya now! Here's a pic of a custard apple:
Padraigin Padraigin 10 years
I love guanabana! The next time I'm at the market, I'll have to check out a cherimoya!
missnomi missnomi 10 years
sounds very good. I wonder if I can find one. ever. :(
YaoMing YaoMing 10 years
Looks like an armidillo: Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
yayita yayita 10 years
Yum, they are called Chirimoya in Spain and people love them! In Dominican Republic they are similar to the Guanabana which is sooo yummy!
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