I love the taste of the chirimoya, or custard apple. It is a tropical fruit, native to South America, but popular in Spain too. Great claims are made for it nutirtionally. It is high in fibre and in vitamins C and B6, good for the heart, good for the brain, the immune system. But to be perfectly honest, I think eating a balanced diet moderately and regularly is more important than trying to cram one’s menu with superfoods. Chirimoyas are a delight to me because I find them so delicious. There was a time when I ate them all the time. Then I moved to my little patch of ground, where they don’t grow and–so far as I was aware until now–no one imported them. Then I saw a tiny clutch of them on a fruiterer’s stall, displayed with a handful of other exotic trophies (a maracuja, a rambutan). Ecstasy! They all looked a little overripe but I bought one anyway.


I suppose there are clever things one could do with a chirimoya but for me the only approach is to slice it in half and scoop out the flesh with a teaspoon. The pips are big enough to be easily spat out. The photo shows that my chirimoya was a bit overripe as I’d feared (but not so badly so as to spoil the taste). Ideally the flesh should be creamy white, not beginning to go brown.


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