Monday, March 05, 2007


I have no time to write these days. But I do have cherimoyas. I first heard about cherimoyas from redfox. They are the perfect food when you have no time because the only sensible way to eat them is to cut them in half, poke out as many of the seeds as you can, and scoop up the flesh with a spoon. They are somewhat messy this way, but that is as it should be. I am sure that there are other wonderful things that you can do with cherimoyas. I suspect that with a small amount of lime juice, water, and sugar, they would make a swell sorbet, but I have neither the time nor the inclination.

I am saving the seeds because I find them attractive. I am sure that they do not grow in my climate. So far as I know, cherimoyas are available only via mail order. If you go to google and enter "cherimoya" as your search term, the first hit should be the site that I ordered them from. If you go there and send them an e-mail, they claim that they will alert you when the season begins, but my own experience suggests otherwise. Fortunately, however, the season is now well underway. I believe it lasts for at least another two months. I had to wait a while between when I ordered mine and when I got them. I'm not sure whether that was a question of availability or simply that they didn't want to ship during a period of sub-freezing temperatures. Shortly after I submitted the order, the weather got very cold, and I was worried about coming home to find cherimoyasicles, but whether by design or by happy accident, my fruit arrived in great condition.

Cherimoyas are an extravagance, for sure. $30 gets you a four-pound box, and the price includes shipping. My box had five healthy sized cherimoyas, three of which I have since eaten. They ripen at slightly different times. Given the cost, you would not want to eat one when it was not at its very best.

I am not sure about the wisdom of spending $30 for five cherimoyas. On the one hand, I could get a lot of pineapples and mangoes for the same amount. On the other hand, if enough people buy cherimoyas, more orchardists will grow them, and perhaps they will become more plentiful. Of course, it is entirely possible that one can already find them at every supermarket in the land flowing with milk and honey California, but given that I already have an overabundance of reasons to envy Californians, I will not seek another.

The high price and the exoticness of cherimoyas make them a terrific gift. This is true of good, fresh fruit generally, of course, and $30 is probably no more than one would expect to spend for a modest gift from most of the mail order fruit houses. And, certainly, if you've never tried them (as I had not), $30 is a lot less than you'd expect to spend for a significant amount of morels or, especially, truffles. For that matter, it's less than many people spend for a good bottle of wine, so my sticker shock is probably unreasonable. In any case, I expect that I'll order another box next year, if not before.


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