Cherimoya: Dinosaur Eggs, Smelly Feet and Seeds (Lots of seeds)

October 20, 2006


I love globalization. While I know many people bemoan the state of affairs it has caused around the world, I like to proclaim my love for it. I love it because I’m selfish and a capitalist, but also because of the food. Because of this crazy global economy, I get to discover fun things at my local grocers. Add the adventure of my wife starting My Husband Cooks, and I’ve taken to embracing every single one of these oddities as a chance to eat and write. (e.g. dragon fruit.)

This week is about the Cherimoya. I’ve seen them recently, had them in my basket twice and took them out. I thought they looked awesome, but I had no clue what they were. Finally, I had an excuse—my sister-in-law, Missy, came for a visit. Now, there are jokes to be made at your “in-laws” expense, but she is like another sister to me. So like Tessie and the rest of my family, Missy is just part of food focus groups waiting to be fed new things.

IMG_2116.JPGAs a result, I bought cherimoyas. The best way to describe the way they look is dinosaur eggs. They look pre-historic. From what I read, and to my surprise, they grow from an evergreen tree that can be found in parts of Southern California. They are native to Andes Mountains near Peru, Columbia, Bolivia and Ecuador. They are ripe, like an avocado, when slightly soft. But most importantly, how do they taste? Our reviews are below.

Husband: I liked parts of it. It’s very seedy and fibrous around the seed. The problem is the seeds are everywhere and about the size and shape of tiny almonds. It had a bad smell and taste in spots (sweet-smelly feet). At its best, it had a smooth texture with a strawberry-banana like taste. I am curious what it would taste like if it were fresher. It has potential to be good, but I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt given that I bought it in Virginia and couldn’t tell you whether it was ripe or just off.

Wife: The seed to fruit ratio was very high — too high. Parts of it did taste bad, parts of it tasted OK. There was a 1/4 inch section that tasted pretty good.

Missy: I’ve never been wild about the texture of bananas, and um, it had a banana-like texture. Parts of it were good, and parts of it tasted like butt. It was bitter sour and gross, in parts. And there were too many seeds.

IMG_2117.JPGWant to know more?

California Rare Fruit Growers’ cherimoya info

A New Zealand site about cherimoya

Any insight onto our new dinosaur egg look-a-like friend?



  1. I love trying new fruit! Especially ones that look as interesting as this one.

  2. Couldn’t agree more. This is fun both to do and to learn about. I now find myself scouring corners of food shops looking for the most peculiar thing in the place.

  3. You definitely have to taste this fruit when it is fresh. Out here in San Diego we are able to get good sized fruit with very little seeds. The flesh should be somewhat firm with no gray squishy areas. I would look for California grown fruit rather than fruit from Chile. The fruit grown here is higher quality. Since you dont have access to this fruit I would suggest trying to find paw paw in your area. Paw Paw is in the same family and is a native american fruit. Ben Pierce North San Diego County Chapter, California Rare Fruit Growers

  4. That is fantastic. Thank you. I appreciate it. I don’t want to attack the fruit too much because I really think the sweet parts of it really had something interesting and flavor filled that I would recommend for people who have access to fresher versions to try for themselves.

    While we did not say so in the body of the post, it is also why we included so many pictures and the interior shot at the top. Because of our unfamiliarity with the fruit, we felt it was best for everyone to see what it looked liked when we ate it. This gave people a chance to say, well… it shouldn’t look like that when fresh or it should have a certain texture. I thought of apples where there is a certain color that is fresh and a certain color that is not.
    I want to thank you again for your comment.

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