13 Cherimoya Varieties (Varieties, Facts, And Health Benefits)

A group of fresh cherimoya on a wooden background.

An orange-green fruit with leathery skin and sweet, creamy flesh, the Cherimoya (Annona cherimola) is a popular tropical fruit in the tropics.

It grows in tropical environments at high altitudes, including the Andes Mountains in South America.

Cherimoya is sometimes referred to as custard apple because of its creamy texture. Most people eat it cold and with a spoon, just like custard. Cherimoya’s sweet flavor is reminiscent of banana and pineapple, two other tropical fruits.

In addition to being high in antioxidants, this unusual fruit is also high in fiber and vitamins. However, if you take large amounts of specific cherimoya pieces, they contain toxins that can harm your nervous system.

Cherimoya Trees

Cherimoya trees are known for their light green, fleshy blooms. Three fleshy and oblong petals and three pinkish inner petals characterize these flowers, which have a strong aromatic flavor. Flowers bloom on the branches of cherimoya trees that are opposite the leaves. They are usually tiny to medium in size. Pollen from flowers is shed in a continual quadruplet.

In addition to tasting delicious, Cherimoya fruits have a variety of nutrients that are beneficial to the human body. Cherimoya is a nutritious fruit that is high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. With soluble sugar content, the fruits are also mildly acidic. However, this type of fruit should be ingested in moderation because it contains toxins that might harm our neurological system. When the fruit seeds are fractured and eaten, they are poisonous.

Cherimoya trees are commonly found in tropical areas across the world, including Spain. This genus was recently discovered to have originated in Central America. It was previously thought to be indigenous to Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Columbia, and Bolivia. Cherimoya plants thrive in climates with a lot of elevation. The Cherimoya seeds have a better probability of germinating at higher altitudes.

Cherimoya fruits are divided into groups based on their surface imperfections, such as:

  • Concha Lisa – an areola that is smooth and difficult to discern.
  • Impressa – it has depressions that resemble “fingerprints.”
  • Umbonata – the apex of the areole has rounded protrusions.
  • Mamilata – a protrusion that resembles a nipple
  • Tuberculata – tip with a wart-like appearance

The texture, flavors, acidity, and forms of the many species of cherimoya fruit are used to classify them. And all of these variants have one thing in common: inedible shiny and hard seeds. The length of a single seed can range from 1-2 cm.

Types of Cherimoyas

1. Behl

This is arguably the tastiest cherimoya of them all, with a perfect balance of sweetness, juiciness, and acidity. Its incredibly smooth flesh can include notes of banana, raspberry, vanilla, or pineapple, depending on when it is picked.

2. Booth

This cultivar, one of the most common types of cherimoya you’ll come across, grows and travels exceptionally well thanks to its hardiness. On the inside, it’s just as good, with a delicious flesh that could take on the flavor of papaya.

3. El Bumpo

Along with the other cherimoya variations, this bumpy and green cherimoya variety is regarded as a “fruit that tastes divine.” The El Bumpo tree provides huge fruits with a rich, creamy flavor. This is one of the 15 cherimoya cultivars that were tasted by UC Master Gardeners at the UC South Coast Research and Extension Center.

4. Fino de Jete

This cherimoya is known for its unusual skin, which has more jutting scales than its smoother siblings. It’s business as usual on the inside, with a sweet and smooth dollop of cherimoya delight.

5. Honeyheart

The golden-tinted flesh inside the heart-shaped body of this fruit is true to its name. The sweetheart of a cultivar is also regarded as one of the tastiest cherimoya varieties.

6. McPherson cherimoya

With a deeper green skin and fewer seeds, it is one of California’s most popular cultivars. It has a sweet flavor and a banana-like texture, but McPherson plants produce high-quality cherimoyas that are medium to enormous in size. Fruit abundance is most common in the middle of the season.

7. Pierce

A cherimoya so delicious that its creator gave it his name. Because of its sweet taste, smooth skin, and high sugar content, this cultivar was first produced in Mexico and has since gained international acclaim.

8. White

This kind of cherimoya is also popular among commercial producers, thanks to its big size and more consistent growth patterns. It has a tropical flavor on the inside, with flavors of mango and papaya.

9. Atemoya

It’s a heart – or round – cherimoya cultivar with delicate and rough skin that’s native to the tropics of America. Annona atemoya is a cross of Annona squamosa and Annona cherimola, the cherimoya and the sugar-apple, respectively. Because atemoya rarely self-pollinates, human pollination is frequently required to yield high-quality atemoya fruits.

In Taiwan, this type is known as the “pineapple sweet apple” by the natives. In Cuba, this fruit is known as anón, in Venezuela as chirimorinon, and in Lebanon and Israel as achta.

10. Sugar Apple

Sugar apple, also known as Annona Squamosa, close up shot.

Sugar apple, also known as Annona Squamosa, is a tiny shrub that bears sweetsops or sugar apples, which are wonderful fruits. Tropical markets are familiar with this cherimoya kind. Its pulp is white in color and has a pleasant flavor. It has three green outer petals that purplish towards the base of its greenish-yellow bloom.

It has 5-17 cm long and 2-4 cm wide thin, alternating, and simple leaves. The West Indies is home to this cherimoya variety. In the tropics and warmer climates, such as Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, and southern Asia, the fruit is now widely cultivated.

11. Mountain Soursop

These fibrous edible fruits are native to the Caribbean Islands, Amazon, and Central America. When fully ripe, the fruit has a spherical shape, lemon-yellow flesh, and light green or yellow skin. It has a sour and bitter taste to it.

Annona montana is similar to Annona muricata, but it is tougher. Its crown is also wider than the latter’s, and the leaves are lustrous. Iron, Potassium, Calcium, Vitamin B1, B2, B3, and C, and Folate, are all abundant in the fruit.

12. White Cherimoya

White cherimoya trees can reach a height of 30 feet and produce smaller fruits than other cherimoya kinds. The papaya-like fruit has luscious white flesh with a highly sweet flavor.

13. Pierce Cherimoya

This cherimoya has a tropical flavor and is juicy. The piercing tree is slightly larger than other cherimoyas and was previously thought to be native to Ecuador, Peru, and Northern Andes. In some places of Mexico, this cultivar is also grown.

Benefits of Cherimoya

· High in Antioxidants

Cherimoya is rich in antioxidants, which help your body combat free radicals. Oxidative stress is associated with many chronic illnesses, including cancer and heart disease, and is caused by high quantities of free radicals. Some cherimoya components, such as flavonoids, kaurenoic acid, vitamin C, and carotenoids, have potent antioxidant characteristics.

According to research, the peel and pulp are rich in antioxidants, with chemicals in the peel being really helpful at reducing the chances of oxidative damage.

However, because of health concerns, you should avoid eating the cherimoya peel. This is detailed in greater depth further down.

The carotenoid antioxidants in cherimoya, like lutein, might be particularly effective. Carotenoids-rich meals may improve eye health and lower your risk of heart disease and specific malignancies, according to research.

· May Boost Your Mood

Cherimoya contains a lot of vitamin B6. In fact, 160 grams of the fruit provide 24% of the daily recommended intake (RDI)

Vitamin B6 is needed for producing neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, which help regulate mood. Mood disorders may be exacerbated by low amounts of this vitamin.

A deficiency of Vitamin B6 has been associated with depression, particularly in the elderly. It was found to magnify the risk of depression in older people.

Eating foods like cherimoya can help minimize your chances of suffering from depression caused by the deficiency of vitamin B6 by increasing your levels of this vital nutrient.

· May Benefit Eye Health

Cherimoya is high in the carotenoid antioxidant lutein, which is one of the key antioxidants in your eyes and fights free radicals to keep your vision healthy.

A high lutein consumption has been linked to improved eye health and a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disorder that causes vision loss and eye damage.

Lutein might even protect against other eye problems, such as cataracts, a clouding of the lens of the eye that causes blurred vision and vision loss.

Individuals with the greatest blood levels of lutein had a 27 percent decreased risk of getting cataracts than those with the lowest levels, according to a study of eight research.

As a result, eating lutein-rich foods like cherimoya may help to maintain eye health and minimize the risk of AMD and cataracts.

Final Thoughts

Cherimoya is available in different varieties, and each one has its own unique flavor. You should give a try to each unique type of cherimoya to determine which one tastes the best.

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