Strange Fruit

8 Dec

My love for strange tropical fruits is welldocumented on this blog. The alien ovum-looking thing above is called a “custard apple,” or buah nona (which literally translates to “lady fruit,” according to Google). The English moniker, at least, much more descriptive than, say jackfruit, since it’s about the size and shape of an apple and has a creamy texture.

One of my problems with purchasing tropical fruit (or vegetables, for that matter) is that it’s hard for me to pick out the good ones. Since so many of them are encased in hard shells, it’s difficult to judge whether they’re ripe. This was actually my second attempt at consuming custard apples; on the first round, the rind was so hard that I couldn’t figure out how to even open the fruit. I don’t know if this variety (there’s two types that I’ve seen in the markets, green and brownish-purple) has a thinner rind, or what, but clearly I didn’t have the same difficulty.

I’m glad I gave it another go, because custard apples are delicious. More subtle than mangosteen or jackfruit, but with a similar perfumed quality to the flesh. The texture is distinctive, creamy but firm, a little like a very, very ripe pear (but less juicy). It’s actually a New World fruit related to the cherimoya, which I know I’ve seen in American supermarkets, so you may have luck finding this one at your local store, even if you don’t live in Asia or anywhere near an Asian market. Don’t be frightened by its appearance, and give it a try!

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3 Responses to “Strange Fruit”

  1. Megara December 9, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    Yummy indeed. I can tell from the texture how they were awarded that name. Bizarrely I found them in my local market in London last week.

  2. Ellie August 15, 2013 at 1:37 am #

    I absolutely love this fruit, I wish is more places where I can buy tropical fruits like this one here in Tampa Florida.
    thank you for this very informative pages;Question ,can you tell me if I can grow Cherimoya plant here in Tampa? if you know,thank you .=)

    • rgautz August 15, 2013 at 8:40 am #

      Thanks for your comment! Your best bet for finding cherimoya is at Latin American markets. I don’t know much about gardening, but I think you should be able to grow it in FL as long as you bring the plant indoors when it gets too cold (i.e. frosts). I’ve heard of someone growing a banana plant in Germany, so anything is possible. Good luck!

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