INT. MR. R’S MANSION–KITCHEN–LATE AFTERNOON
Dishes and serving platters are lined along the edge of the counter, waiting to serve the evening’s fare. Something fragrant simmers in a large pot. Freshly cleaned spring vegetables lay near the skillet that will bring them to life.
Caryn sits at her table, away from the stove that will soon call her. A heart-shaped, green fruit is sliced open before her. She picks up her spoon and is about to scoop out the creamy, white flesh when Mr. R. enters from the dining room.
He doesn’t seem to notice Caryn as he takes a bottle of water from the fridge, but in one swift movement, he spins around to face her.
What’re you eating?
Caryn winces at the abrupt inquiry.
Some people call it a custard apple.
Mr. R. is silent, deep in thought about something as he looks at the fruit. Caryn waits skeptically until he suddenly snaps out of it.
Can I try it?
She attempts a smile.
Oh, yeah. Of course.
Mr. R. opens a drawer and shuffles through it. Caryn gets up and opens a different drawer. She hands him the spoon she pulls from it. He accepts it without a word.
She returns to the table and gives him half of the fruit. They scoop around the seeds and fill their spoons with sweet pulp.
Caryn chews slowly, trying not to watch her mercurial employer. He swallows his first bite and softly nods his approval before plunging his spoon back into the fruit.
Mr. R. devours the cherimoya in silence and is gone as quickly as he appeared. Caryn pauses for a second to make sure he doesn’t come back and then finally exhales.
I’ve heard a cherimoya best described as a cross between a banana and a pineapple. In California, they can be found in farmer’s markets and some grocery stores between November and June. Once the fruit is ripe, I like to refrigerate it until cold and then eat it like ice cream.