Friday, November 9, 2007
New Fruit (#5)
Tried one new fruit in Santiago that I'd been curious about after seeing them in Ecuadorian markets, but never in the supermarket, where you get to see how the name is spelled. The CHIRIMOYA is a weird scaley-looking green fruit, a little smaller than a grapefruit. Inside are lots of big, unavoidable, but easy-to-deal-with seeds, like giant tan watermelon seeds or fat pumkin seeds. In the interest of science, I counted them. The first chirimoya I ate had 38 seeds, the second had 50!
The white flesh has a pear-like texture, only more fibrous, and softer, especially as they get riper. It smells of drying bread dough, but tastes sort of like a pear, sort of like a mango. The fruit is sweet and creamy, very summery, with a hint bubble gum. In your mouth, it feels satiny, like it could be the filling of a hostess pie, only fresh and unprocessed. Once swallowed, you're left with a light spicy clove aftertaste.
In English, apparently, it's called a "custard apple" (whatever it means for something to have a name where it doesn't exist), because the flesh, especially when very ripe, supposedly is like custard.