Cherimoya – Orgasmic and Addicting!

Never in my life have I experienced such ecstasy as when I scooped out the creamy white flesh of a Cherimoya (pronounced chair-uh-MOY-yuh) and tasted it.  I know you’re thinking “is she for real?”   I can’t begin to describe the incredible flavor of this fruit.  My first spoonful, had me wondering if this tasted like a coconut, pineapple, banana, apple, or mango – YES, all of the above and then some. TOTALLY UNBELIEVABLE!!!   It’s not too acidic or too sweet but just right.  Goldilocks and the Three Bears would be in 7th-heaven.

The Cherimoya is the king of fruit with flavors more luscious than you could ever imagine plus contains a host of health benefits.  In fact, this ancient Incan fruit was once reserved for royalty.  So scrumptious that Mark Twain called it “deliciousness itself” or in other words, “the most delicious fruit known to man.”

The Cherimoya resembles an artichoke in color and shape, with a leathery skin (not to be eaten) that has a scaly pattern.  Slice it open though and you will discover an ivory, firm custard-like flesh, also called “custard apple,” with large black seeds that are not edible.

Choose Cherimoya that are firm and allow to ripen at room temperature. As the Cherimoya begins to ripen, the skin will begin to turn a darker green and will yield to gentle pressure, just like that of an avocado. Refrigerate softened Cherimoya and use within 2-4 days for best flavor.

I’ve been raving about this phenomenal piece of fruit but haven’t mentioned how I discovered it!

Two weeks ago I received an email from Melissa’s Produce asking me if I would like to try some of their products to test and share on my blog.  I was excited about this opportunity to test my culinary skills in creating dishes for fruits I wasn’t familiar with, and two high protein grains as you know, I love to cook with.

The list of unique products were:

Ojai Pixie Tangerines
Red Quinoa

You can find Melissa’s Products in St. Louis at Dierbergs grocery stores or click here for a location in your state. If you can’t find it at your grocery store request it from the produce manager.

Now that I’ve received these special culinary delights, “my mission” has been to sample and compose dishes both my family and readers will enjoy.

During the course of the next 2 weeks I plan to share my creations and discoveries using these ingredients.  I hope you will try and enjoy them as much as my family has.

For my first recipe (below) I decided to pair the Cherimoya and Farro.

I’ve prepared Farro before, a grain that resembles barley when raw, and love it’s nutty flavor and chewy consistency.  Farro has been found to stimulate the immune system, lower cholesterol and help maintain blood sugar levels.   While farro does contain gluten, the gluten molecules are weaker than modern wheat, making it easier to digest.

Per ½ cup raw farro:

  • 1.5 g of fat
  • 0 g saturated fat
  • 0 mg of sodium
  • 34 g of carbohydrates
  • 5 g of dietary fiber
  • 2 mg of iron
  • 6 g of protein
  • 4 mg of niacin
  • 60 mg of magnesium
  • 2 mg zinc

In addition to minerals and vitamins, farro is rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, lignans and betaine.

After tasting the Cherimoya I searched recipes online.  All I found were sweet, dessert-type dishes, so I decided I’d concoct a savory dish. 

Let it be noted, the Cherimoya need not be disguised in any other form than in the raw.  It’s flesh is like none other and will delight anyone that tries it.  But if you’re inclined to fabricate dishes like I am, I think you’ll enjoy this recipe without sacrificing the flavor of the Cherimoya.

With the Cherimoya’s tropical flavors I wanted to feel like I was in paradise so I designed:

“Coconut Encrusted Tilapia
on a Bed of
Farro with a Cherimoya Sauce”
4 (8 oz.) pieces of Tilapia
1 pkg. of Melissa’s Farro (follow package instructions)
3/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
3/4 cup Unsweetened Organic Coconut
salt and pepper
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
2 Cherimoya, seeds discarded, flesh removed and set aside
1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 cup Yuzu Rice vinegar (or regular rice vinegar)
1/3 cup canola oil
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 350F degrees.  Line pan with foil and spray with non-stick spray
Follow package directions for Farro 15 minutes prior to putting fish into the oven.  Farro will take approximately 30 minutes to prepare.  This way everything will be ready at the same time. (Season as desired.  I didn’t season it with anything – I like it as is).
Combine milk and eggs in a bowl and whisk together
Combine Panko and Coconut in another bowl and combine
Dip Tilapia pieces one at a time in the egg mixture, then into the Panko/Coconut mixture, season with salt and pepper and place on lined sheet pan, until all pieces have been coated.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, uncovered.
Heat chicken stock and reduce down to 1/4 cup.  Set aside to cool.
Once stock has cooled, combine first 5 sauce ingredients in blender and puree until smooth.  Then slowly add in the canola oil while blender is running on low speed.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside until ready to serve.
The Cherimoya sauce looks like thick cream but as you can see there’s nothing unhealthy in this sauce.  It’s delicious!  Makes about 2 cups of sauce.
To Plate:
Place Farro on plate, top with Tilapia and drizzle Cherimoya Sauce over the top.  I also served this with fresh strawberries that I blended together as I ate.  Serve with fresh veggie of choice. 
This dish was a true delight!  I felt like I was in the tropics.
Note: Cherimoya is incredibly delicious raw.  Please try it plain, my recipe or create your own.
Farro, can be served plain, combined with other vegetables or fruits to make a nice light and healthy salad, in soups or any way you can think of.
I hope you’ll check out Melissa’s for a store near you.  With unique products like these you won’t want to miss out!

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  1. I don’t believe I’ve ever had Cherimoya. Your mission sounds like a lot of fun!

  2. Natasha I’d never heard of it or had it before either. You have to try it. It’s incredible. Like nothing I’ve ever tasted before.

  3. Vicki – I never even HEARD of these much less tried them but you have me very intrigued – I will be on the lookout, for sure! Thanks friend!

  4. So exotic.. lucky you to be chosen for this exciting task!!

  5. Chris if you check out it will direct you to a grocer nearby that sells their products. All that I’ve tasted have been fantastic.

    Barb – yes this is so exotic and incredibly tasting. You owe it to yourself to try this. AMAZING! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. This sounds delicious. Hope I can find the fruit.

  7. Loretta I provided a link to find it in your area. However, here it is:

    Then scroll down on the left side of the page and insert your state and the location will pop up. Hope this helps.

  8. You are very lucky to try this unique ingredient! I had never heard of Cherimoya and if I see that word again somewhere at a market, I’m grabbing it right away! Thanks for the introduction of Cherimoya!

  9. I’ve neither seen nor tried this fruit…but I’m going to keep my eyes open after your endorsement. The flavor sounds spectacular!

  10. This fruit looks so wonderful – your description has me craving it quite a bit 😀
    Nice post!

    Choc Chip Uru

  11. Great to come to your site and learn a little about Cherimoya. Melissa knew she picked the right person to sample this wonderful fruit too! You did a great job incorporating it into a meal-very hard task since you have never eaten this fruit before. The whole process sounds like fun as well, but I have to admit I would be stumped. Well done Vickie!

  12. Back when I was a child, we had a cherimoya tree growing in our garden, so my love for the fruit started really early. I think my siblings and I used to carve our names lightly on the fruits, waiting for them to ripen…and thereby reserving them solely for their ‘owners’! Nowadays, I just take it blended into juice, it’s so refreshing to drink and has medicinal properties. I’ve never heard of Farro and have yet to come across feijoas. So excited to see what you’ve created/you’re going to create with them here!

  13. Cherimoya…I have never heard, seen or had it either. Love the described flavours.

  14. I have never heard of cherimoya, but I so want to try it after reading your description! And, I was so glad to see that when I checked out Melissa’s website they have products available at our local grocery store!

  15. never even heard of cherimoya, but now i would love to find some to make this meal, sounds delicious!

  16. Thank you all for reading this post. I hope you will try the Cherimoya as well as the Farro.

    I was told from Melissa’s that if you don’t see it at your grocery store that Melissa’s is carried at then ask the produce manager and he/she will be sure to bring some into the store.

    Jill – I’m glad you were able to locate a store near you that carries it.

    Jenn – I’m glad you liked my recipe. It was quite delicious if I do say so myself. I hope you try it.

    Thank you again for reading this post. Please let me know when any of you try this if you have the same reaction to the taste as I have. Have a great weekend!

    Tina – thank you for saying such nice things about my post. I really do appreciate it.

    Maya – I love your story. How lucky you were to grow up having this regal fruit growing in your yard. I especially enjoyed hearing how you engraved your name on the skin of the Cherimoya while it was still growing to claim dibs on your piece and when ripe you knew whose was whose. Fun story!

  17. I’m not sure what’s going on but I posted earlier to Tina and Maya and now it showed up below my new post. Very strange. Better check my PC settings.

  18. I’ve never seen one but after your description I will certainly be looking for this wonderful fruit!

  19. New food for me! Thank you for the Friday night education. 🙂

  20. i have never heard of it… somehting new.. interesting.

  21. From your description, I neeeeeeeeed to find a Cherimoya! It sounds amazing 🙂

  22. I’ve never heard of cherimoya before, but this looks like something I may have seen in my local market a while ago. I know I’ll be keeping my eyes very open the next time I’ll be going through there, would love to try this fruit!

  23. I have heard of a few of those but I unfortunately cannot get them. They look great!

  24. Good stuff. I’ve had cherimoya maybe once or twice, and it has great flavor. And using it as a sauce is a great idea. Nice recipe – thanks.

  25. Pingback: A Perfect Valentine’s Day Fruit: The Cherimoya – Produce Buzz

  26. Great article! Cherimoya looks like soursop in the inside. I didn’t know it provides several health benefits. I would love to give this a try, although I don’t think cherimoya is readily available here in the Philippines.

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