Fruits of My Labors: Cherimoya

Today, I planted three types of my the most favorite fruit trees: Cherimoya, soursop and rare red  custard apple.  Those tree trees are very similar, yet unique each in its own way.

I went to Panama to enjoy the exotic fruits from the vines in their natural ecosystems.  The tropical fruits were growing next the shores of the ocean.  Yes, black sands, imbued with their characteristic hue from volcanic ash and dark stones ground into billions of grains by tide and time. While the silver-white shores of Fort Myers Beach are beautiful, the uniqueness of their ebony Coast counterparts should be experienced, with one’s own eyes and bare feet. And as always, the ocean is sublime. Jet lag fades after a couple of days, but special places always remain in your heart.

This trip was not entirely focused on rest and recreation. The secondary purpose of my journey was kind of like a delicious scientific experiment, involving exotic tropical fruits. I have a passion for fruit (there may be a pun!) which extends beyond merely eating. Of course I like to sample the “specimens,” but I am drawn to their shapes, sizes, colors and their nutritional and medicinal value. I am mulling over the idea of starting a new blog on tropical fruit, called . . . Well, just wait and see!

My favorite fruit is the cherimoya, or soursop, which looks strange but tastes a lot better! While native to South America, cherimoyas have been successfully grown in other tropical locales, among them one of the vacation rental units at my business in Fort Myers Beach! Some areas in California have also been conducive to growing cherimoyas. Purchasing this fruit in the United States is very expensive, but in its natural environment the cherimoya grows like grass! During my stay I was able to buy fresh cherimoyas, as well as plenty of other fruits.

Some studies suggest that cherimoyas have anti-carcinogenic properties and that tea from their leaves has other health benefits. Others claim that cherimoyas are potent aphrodisiacs. I personally agree with Mark Twain, who said that the cherimoya was “the most delicious fruit known to man.” The cherimoya is nicknamed “the custard apple.”

I would be remiss not to mention some of the other tropical fruits that I love: coconuts, granadillas, maracuya passion fruit, lychees, pineapples, papayas, guavas, and mangoes. Like cherimoyas, these fruits have numerous reputed uses and benefits that go way beyond mere gastronomy. I am still in the process of exploring and discovering what this field has in store. This promises to be a fascinating and tasty undertaking.  In about three years I will eat the fruits of my labor.  Three more trees are added to this planet.


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