In countries where health care isn’t free, you often find there is a lot more local knowledge about the health benefits of different foods.
So I was walking along and saw this strange fruit which I haven’t noticed in England – ‘Oh Yes – you will never get cancer if you eat that everyday’ my friend told me. Sounds good I thought – I’ll find out more.
So Cherimoya isn’t native to Morocco but you can find it commonly – maybe they grow it here. It is native to Southern Ecuador and Northern Peru, and was carried to other parts of the world centuries ago, in some countries it’s also known as ‘soursop’, or ‘alone’ in France. Paw Paws and Sugar Apples are close relatives.
Cherimoya’s are about the size of a large grapefruit with a creamy white and slightly tart flesh, green skin and lots of black seeds – don’t eat the skin or the seeds – they’re toxic!
When peeled and de-seeded you can cut it into cubes, puree or use as a mousse, or you can dilute with ice water for a refreshing beverage. They are also added to fruit salads and sometimes fermented to produce alcohol.
Purported health benefits…
With zero saturated fat, Cherimoyas are cholesterol free, high in fibre, iron and niacin and contain powerful ‘cytotoxins’ which are said to combat cancer, malaria and human parasites (ewwwww! – hope I don’t have any of those, I think I’ve met a few though!). They’re also a good source of B Vitamins, potassium, and have many more minerals than an apple – winner!.
There has even been discussion about the fruits ability to manufacture GABA (game-aminobutyric acid) a chemical in the brain also known as ‘the euphoric amino acid’ – definitely worth a try!
More on Cherimoya when I’ve tasted a few.