In my neighborhood, which happens to be a dock, no one asks to borrow a cup of sugar. Instead, my neighbor knocked on my door last night looking for 1/4 cup of rum for her rum cake.
Who lives on a boat without rum? Of course I have rum!
In exchange for the rum she delivered a slice of the finished cake and a “mystery fruit.” All she said about it was, “Don’t eat the seeds.”
Naturally, I brought it to work with me to share with anyone brave enough to give it a try. I sliced into it to find that the smell is very sweet. The flavor is like a combination of pear and pineapple, and the texture is similar to a mango with the slight grittiness of a pear.
It looked very tropical, and I thought it would go perfectly in a rum drink — umbrella required. But we still had no clue what it was? To answer that I wandered the office asking people. Most just gave me blank looks, but Alison, our retail food merchant, said, “That’s a cherimoya!”
Back to the computer, where I quickly Googled cherimoya and found out it’s a fruit native to Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. They are grown commercially in Mexico, and you can find them in Latin markets.
To learn more about how to choose, store and prepare cherimoya, check out this article from Serious Eats. If you want the umbrella drink to make with today’s mystery fruit, try this Cherimoya Lemon Frozen Daiquiris recipe from Cooking Light Magazine.
About the author: Tre started her love affair with food in her parents’ kitchen, taught by her mother the baker and her father the cook. Her passion for food and the culture surrounding it combined with her desire to travel has had her eating Fish ‘n’ Chips on a rainy day in London, fried plantains in the jungles of Nicaragua, curry from street stalls in Cambodia, and black rice pudding for breakfast in Bali. At home in her houseboat, her galley always smells of garlic and rosemary.