Two wonderful fruits from Spain that are now in season are persimmons and cherimoya. The former is becoming familiar to the British fruit lover, and easily available; but the latter, while popular in Spain, is still largely ignored in UK. Both of these fruit epitomise the best of the Mediterranean and are worthy of any fruit bowl of flavour.
Persimmons are now in most supermarkets and grocers as the season enters its mainstream variety, Rojo Brilliante. There will also be the flatter Sharonfruit on sale, but both are wonderful, sweet, tasty and good value. Eat them peeled or unpeeled, hard or soft and enjoy their succulence and beauty.
Cherimoya, on the other hand, are somewhat of an ugly sister, largely spurned in this country without any consideration of inner character. What a pity, as this is a fruit full of extraordinary flavour and sweetness! To experience them at their best, let the peel blacken slightly, the stem-end become slightly sunken, and detect a
tenderness to the whole fruit. The soft off-white flesh can be scooped out into a bowl or eaten directly with a spoon, while the skin and black seeds are discarded (the seeds can cause stomach aches if consumed). The sweet, exotic, custard-like flavours are best enjoyed directly, but the flesh also makes a great addition to a bowl of fruit salad or a topping for vanilla ice cream. Don’t be put off by the texture, enjoy the flavour!
Supermarkets largely avoid cherimoya because they are delicate fruit and need careful handling, with Asda as the only supporter, and then only in selected stores. Otherwise, find them in independent groceries, particularly those with a Mediterranean or Middle-Eastern bias.
How to Buy:
- Persimmons: Fruit should be firm and evenly coloured with no sign of bruise. Fruit that are dark orange will be more mature.
- Cherimoya: Look for fruit with an even green colouration, quite firm and with no black marks. Slight darkening of the whorls of the peel are fine.
How to Store and Eat:
- Persimmons: Store in a fruit bowl for up to a week. Eat them peeled or unpeeled, hard or soft; chopped into segments, whole like an apple or soft flesh scooped into a bowl. Even when really soft, persimmon have delicious, jelly-like flesh that is still great to eat (as the original Kaki fruit).
- Cherimoya: Store in a fruit bowl, but watch carefully as the shelf-life is not extensive. Expect them to be ready within 2-3 days at room temperature. Let the peel blacken slightly, the stem-end become slightly sunken, and detect a tenderness to the whole fruit. The soft off-white flesh can be scooped out into a bowl or eaten directly with a spoon, while the skin and black seeds are discarded (the seeds can cause stomach aches if consumed).
©Good Fruit Guide 2017. Information and data published on www.goodfruitguide.co.uk must not be reproduced or copied without permission of the editor. Recommendations on fruit varieties and types with the very best taste are personal to the editor of Good Fruit Guide, and do not attempt to be exhaustive or supported by verifiable consumer research. The highlighting of fruit with the very best taste in the opinion of the editor is not intended as a judgement on the taste of varieties and types of fruit not mentioned.