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The cherimoya (Annona cherimola) is a member of the custard apple family, which includes the soursop, sweetsop, and atemoya. Native to the cool mountain valleys of Peru, and have been cultivated for local use for hundreds of years. The name 'cherimoya' comes from the Inca 'Quechua' language of Peru.

Cherimoya are oblong and vaguely heart shaped, with leathery green skin, which may be smooth or bumpy.  They normally range in size from 6 to 18 ounces, but may weigh as much as 6 pounds, and under ideal conditions can attain weights up to 15 pounds.  The flesh is light cream colored, juicy with a firm custard texture, and large inedible black seeds. The sweet taste is something like a mango/papaya/banana combination.

They bruise very easily and are very sensitive to severe cold, so commercial production is mostly local.  They are now grown in many Central American countries, Mexico, Hawaii, India, Australia, Spain, Florida and California.





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