Let me just start this post by asking a question: If you were on the street and someone handed this to you, what would your initial reaction be?
If you're anything like me, you may think it was some sort of weird cactus fruit that they had to cut the spines off of, thus giving it the little dents everywhere. I thought to myself, "why would I want to eat that when I would just get some cactus spine stuck under my fingernails and then have to go to the hospital to get the spines removed so that my fingers will stop swelling?"
I don't pretend that this is a rational train of thought. But there it is, nonetheless. So, needless to say, I wasn't lining up to buy this mysterious fruit.
It wasn't until when, one fateful day, my friend Annie (pictured below) and I met up for lunch and she handed me this plastic bag that weighed approximately 10 pounds.
Lo and behold, it was a chirimoya. That's what this fruit is called, apparently. I had to look it up in my aforementioned visual dictionary to figure out what it is in English. For those of you who were wondering, it's called a "custard apple." Weird, I know.
I've always kind of thought that fruit and veggies were some of those universal common denominators among cultures. For example (and remember, this is purely opinion), I feel that almost anywhere you go you'll be able to find apples, bananas, pears, peaches, lettuce, carrots, corn, peas, etc etc etc. So, you can imagine my surprise when I saw this space fruit sitting there, neglected, between the bananas and the pears.
I took it to my school and my teachers all told me that it wasn’t ripe yet and that I should wait. They also explained detailed and complex ways to go about eating it. None of which I understood, but shook my head to fervently in excessive agreement nonetheless.
Eventually, in seeing the fruit ripen, it started to make sense what my teachers were telling me.
I went straight to the Google and typed in, “How to eat a chirimoya.”
Thank goodness for the Internet.
I learned two very important things right off the bat: both the skin and the seeds are poisonous. Don’t eat them.
The website also said that when the chirimoya is appropriately ripened, both the skin and the flesh will smell like vanilla ice cream.
I would just like to take this opportunity to say…false. This is a lie. At no point in my devouring of this space fruit did I encounter a wafting vanilla scent. The taste, I supposed, could somewhat be construed as an overly sweet vanilla-y ice cream flavor. But not really.
I also learned that the best way to eat it is to put in the freezer for about two hours so it gets a little frozen, then cut it half and eat it with a spoon, kind of like scooping out ice cream (maybe that’s why the author of this article thought it tasted like vanilla ice cream).
So that’s what I did.
Space fruit = Good.
Let this be a lesson to all of you out there. When in doubt about something new, double check to be sure it's not going to poison you, then go for it!