Cherimoya (Annona cherimola), also known as “Custard apple” is native to the tropics of South America. Its genus name is from an ancient Incan word, annona and means “year’s harvest.” It is a member of the Anonaceae (Custard Apple) Family and relative of Soursop. Inside the spiky yellow green skin is a lush white flesh with a delicious flavor, similar to a combination of banana, blueberry and pineapple.
Cherimoyas are cooling. They have been used to remedy acidosis, bad breath, constipation, kidney and bladder inflammation. Cherimoyas are high in vitamin C, calcium, and iron.
They are harvested when hard and will ripen at room temperature or sunny window. Avoid brown or bruised fruits. Once ripe, determined by yielding to gentle pressure they can be refrigerated for up to five days. The seeds can be spit out. Enjoy plain, in fruit salads, sherbets, and smoothies. Cherimoya trees can be easily grown in pots as houseplants.