Cherimoya: “The Most Delicious Fruit Known to Men”


The Cherimoya is native to the Andean Highlands of Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The exterior has a similar shape to an artichoke and even has the same purple coloration. The interior is custard-like, and has canals throughout that house the black seeds. Cherimoya derives from the Quechua word chirimuya, or “cold seeds” because of its ability to thrive at high altitudes.

The flavor is hard to put your finger on. It is somewhere between banana, pineapple, papaya, peach, and strawberry. Specific I know; perhaps we leave the generic descriptors aside, and call it Cherimoya. Part of it’s glory is it’s mystery. Mark Twain cited the Cherimoya in The Sacramento Daily Union, October 25, 1866,“The most delicious fruit known to men”; it has also been called a “masterpiece of nature” by explorer and geographer Thaddäus Haenke.


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