The cherimoya is sometimes called a chirimolla, chirimoya, or custard apple. Cherimoyas come in a variety of shapes and sizes and the skin has scale-like depressions that look like a reptilian egg. The flesh inside is smooth, soft, and melts in your mouth like custard (hence its nickname of custard apple). It’s often eaten with a spoon and served chilled. The flesh has a unique sweet taste that is a combination of coconut, pineapple, mango, banana, and papaya. Contained in the flesh are large black bean-like inedible and toxic seeds. American writer Mark Twain called the cherimoya "the most delicious fruit known to man." Cherimoyas are high in fiber, a good source of vitamin C and calcium, plus contain niacin and phosphorus. It is native to the high-altitude Andean mountains of Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia, and is now also grown in tropical regions.
Ripening and Storage:
Keep cherimoyas at room temperature until ripe. The cherimoya is ripe when the skin turns slightly yellow or pale green, or when it has some give to it. Wrap the ripe fruit and refrigerate for up to four days. When fully ripe and ready to eat, you should be able to rip it open with your hands.
Cherimoya is often served chilled. Cut or rip open the cherimoya in half and scoop out the soft flesh with a spoon. Do not eat the skin or the black seeds.
Cut chunks of cherimoya and combine with kiwi, strawberry, papaya or other tropical fruit to make a fruit salad. Scoop the flesh out and blend into smoothies and shakes, or add to yogurt. It's also delicious when frozen with some coconut milk for a semifreddo. Cherimoyas can even be added on top of pastries and baked.