What Is Cherimoya Fruit? (Origin, Nutrition and Benefits)

Please note that I may earn a small commission from purchases made through product links in this article at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

Last updated: September 10, 2021

As you may know, I love trying out new fruits that aren’t as mainstream as, for example, apples and bananas. There are so many different types of fruits out there that we may have never heard of because we never see them popping up in our local supermarkets.

One of those not-so-well-known, exotic fruits is the delicious cherimoya fruit. While it’s getting easier to find cherimoyas these days, they are still considered quite unique and are also a bit pricey.

In this article, I am going to share everything I know about the cherimoya fruit, including its origins, how best to eat it, and its nutritional benefits.

What Is the Cherimoya Fruit?

The cherimoya fruit is an absolute delight and deserves a bit more attention. Not only does this fruit have the best flavors, it also has a rather impressive nutritional profile.

Cherimoya fruit on tree
Cherimoya fruit on tree

It’s one of those fruits that may not look very appealing from the outside, but once you cut it in half and eat its delicious flesh, you will most likely fall in love with it instantly.

Custard Apple

Also known as custard apple, the cherimoya is a fruit-bearing species from the Annonaceae family of flowering plants.

This family is often referred to as custard apple family or the soursop family. Famous relatives of the cherimoya fruit are pawpaws and sugar apples.

Cherimoya aka custard apple
Cherimoya aka custard apple

While cherimoya is believed to be native to South America, the fruit is now widely cultivated in many tropical regions around the world.

The flesh of the fruit has a creamy, custard-like texture, which is why it’s often marketed as custard apple.

It truly is a delicious treat with refreshing flavors that are best described as a combination of banana, pineapple and strawberry.

How to Eat a Cherimoya Fruit?

When searching for and buying a cherimoya fruit, make sure you pick one that isn’t fully ripe yet.

Cherimoya fruit at the market
Cherimoya fruit at the market

One that feels reasonably firm and has a light green color. Let the fruit ripen at home for a little while until they feel slightly softer.

The Skin

While the skin is edible, it’s best to cut the fruit in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon, similar to how you would consume an avocado.

You can also cut the flesh in little chunks and add these to salads, combined with other fruits.

Flesh and seeds of cherimoya fruit
Flesh and seeds of cherimoya fruit

What also works quite well is creating mashed pulp and then add that to yogurt, pudding, or ice cream. Yum!

You can use your creativity here, there really aren’t any limits to what you can do. Personally, as a smoothie fan, I love adding bits of cherimoya flesh to my smoothies.

The Seeds

Similar to apple seeds, the seeds in cherimoya are certainly not toxic when consumed in small quantities.

But it’s best to remove them before serving, because they don’t exactly taste the best and they are also quite large.

Nutritional Profile and Benefits

Have a look at the below table highlighting the nutritional profile of the cherimoya fruit. There are a few things that really stand out.

The fruit is high in minerals and vitamins, such as potassium, magnesium, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B6, riboflavin (vitamin B2), folate (vitamin B9), and thiamin (vitamin B1).

Cherimoya can also provide you with a good amount of dietary fiber. It’s also worth noting that the fat and sodium content is negligible.

Cherimoya fruit (raw – 100 g)
Water 79 g
Energy 75 cal (4% DV)
Carbohydrates 17 g (6% DV)
Dietary fiber 3 g (12% DV)
Protein 1.57 g (3% DV)
Fat 0.6 g (1% DV)
Minerals
Potassium 287 mg (8% DV)
Magnesium 17 mg (4% DV)
Manganese 0.1 mg (4% DV)
Phosphorus 26 mg (3% DV)
Iron 0.3 mg (2% DV)
Calcium 10 mg (1% DV)
Vitamins
Vitamin C 12.6 mg (20% DV)
Vitamin B6 0.2 mg (12% DV)
Riboflavin 0.13 mg (8% DV)
Folate 23 mcg (6% DV)
Thiamin 0.1 mg (6% DV)
Niacin 0.6 mg (3% DV)
Source: USDA

Benefits of Cherimoya Fruit

The vitamin C in a cherimoya fruit acts as a natural antioxidant, helping your body to combat and prevent illnesses. Most fruits offer lots of vitamin C, and cherimoya certainly packs a punch in that regard.

Vitamin B6 is an essential vitamin that helps with many functions in our body, such as producing antibodies, maintaining a normal nerve function and breaking down proteins.

Dietary fiber works as a natural laxative so that your body is able to properly process the food you consume. It helps to prevent constipation and also promotes healthy gut bacteria.

Cherimoya fruit cut in half
Cherimoya fruit cut in half

So. in short, when eating a cherimoya fruit, you’re eating a cholesterol-free treat that is extremely low in sodium and fat, and provides you with a solid dose of vitamin C, vitamin B6 and dietary fiber.

Final Thoughts

As you can tell, I’ve become a bit of a fan of the cherimoya fruit. It really is a delicious treat with not only great flavors but also an impressive nutritional profile.

I do encourage you to go out there and try and find fruits and vegetables that are a bit more exotic and unique. Even if they cost a bit more, it’s so much fun to try something new every now and then. And the cherimoya is one of those tasty fruits that I now quite often buy at the markets.

Keen to discover more fruits? Check out my articles about the longan fruit and the snake fruit for some great ideas!

 

Discover cherimoya fruit (nutrition and benefits)

 
 
Donna Harrison

I created Healthy Food Tribe because I am passionate about discovering new foods and learning everything about them. I am also a smoothie fanatic and I document all my favorite recipes here on my blog.

2 Comments
  1. It would be nice if sources to buy these fruits or their trees/plants were available within this information. I tried to find cherimoya plants or seeds and had trouble locating them.

    Reply
    • Fair point Caroline, cherimoya fruits and seeds are quite hard to find. You need to have a bit of luck with specialty grocery stores. Otherwise, the seeds are available on Amazon and other online sources, if you’d like to try and grow them yourself.

      Reply
Leave a Comment