Mood Lifter: Cherimoya!

April 12, 2005



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.

MR. R.

What’re you eating?

Caryn winces at the abrupt inquiry.


A cherimoya.

MR. R.

A what?


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.

MR. R.

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.

8 thoughts on “Mood Lifter: Cherimoya!

  1. Gloria

    I love cherimoyas. That’s a gorgeous picture. I might have to pick one up the next time I’m out shopping for food, if I can find them.

  2. caryn

    Seo, I actually only have an Olympus C-60 (from Costco!). And let it be known that I am a complete amateur photographer! Or so my friends who are real photographers tell me. :)

    Anyway, I have to manipulate the camera a lot to get what I want. There is a supermacro feature that helps me with food photos. I shoot in Aperture Priority mode because Automatic is awful. I often have to use my tripod and remote control in low light…if I’m lucky enough to get something going in low light. And I crop my photos in Photoshop to get the aspect ratio I like.

    All that said, I WISH I had a better camera. I’m scheming to steal my father’s beautiful Nikon, but don’t tell him! :)

  3. tanvi

    ooh that sounds luscious! its strange but ive never heard of these before- what farmers market (in la) do you usually find these at? im curious!

    ps. i freeze ripe bananas and eat them as ice cream! so good yet guiltless :-)

  4. caryn

    Tanvi, I’ve seen them at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market (8AM-1PM Saturdays, Santa Monica Airport). However, I purchased a couple last weekend at Ranch 99 on Sepulveda and Victory (Valley).

  5. clotilde

    Oh wow, a cross between banana and pineapple? Never seen one of these either here or in North California. Will have to do a little research and see if any exotic food store has them! Thanks for the great post, too!

  6. caryn

    Thanks, Clotilde! I think that a Cherimoya is called Anone or Cherimolier in France, but I really don’t speak any French. :) One thing I should have clarified in the post: a Cherimoya is part of a larger family of custard apples. Other varieties of custard apples are supposedly inferior to the esteemed Cherimoya.


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