Cherimoyas are tropical forest trees referred to as Annona cherimola. This wonderful fruit comes from forests on the Andes of Ecuador, Colombia, & Peru. Cherimoya trees are evergreen though they are able to be briefly deciduous throughout cold weather. Cherimoya fruit is prized for its fruity, sweet, almost custard-like flavor. Custard Apple is an appropriate nickname for the Cherimoya which describes its creamy texture.The fruit is best eaten fresh but will also be made into delicious fruit drinks or smoothies.In truth Cherimoyas have been grown in Coastal Southern California since the late 1800’s. The fruits appearance is ordinary looking fairly like an artichoke. Cherimoya trees grow to about 25 feet wide & high. Cherimoyas will also be grown to fruit successfully only in large containers with adequate nutrients. Cherimoyas are steadily grafted to give a boost to their tolerance to cold & disease.Spring & early summer are the peak season for Cherimoya fruit harvest. Harvest the fruit when they turn pale yellow green, & are reasonably soft to the touch. Flavor will also be improved if fruit is harvested reasonably unripe, then left to ripen at room temperature indoors (in bright indirect light). Cut the fruit from the tree instead of pulling it off to avoid damaging the easily bruised fruit. Never put Cherimoya fruit in the refrigerator because it damages them. The fruit bruise easily & have a short shelf life
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