First Atemoya Harvest

The fruit a few days before it fell.

While doing yard work, I looked over and saw a fruit under the Cherimoya. During my last farm inspection I wondered just when, and how to harvest the fruit.

My heart sank. This little tree was an experiment. It surprised me by fruiting. I wondered if the fruit would ripen. And I figured a critter had beat me to it.

Finishing my work, I picked up the fruit. It was:

  • solid
  • heavy
  • without bite or claw damage
  • and had apparently fallen off the tree by itself.

So, I cut it open. No bugs. No rot. The flesh had:

  • a sweet and moist like the finest pear.
  • a soft and non-fibrous texture.
  • a subtle topical fruity aroma.
  • a slightly acidic zing.

A perfectly tree ripened Cherimoya. Beautiful!

My wife took one look. Tasted it. And said it’s a great tasting Sugar Apple, just like one from her youth.

Sugar Apple? What’s that? I’m from fruitless Wyoming so what do I know about tropical fruit.Time to get informed!

Neither plant closely resembled the leaves or fruit on the tree in my backyard.

What I’ve been growing is an Atemoya, a cross between these two fruits. Julia Morton says:

The fruit is conical or heart-shaped, generally to 4 in (10 cm) long and to 3 3/4 in(9.5 cm) wide; some weighing as much as 5 lbs(2.25 kg); pale bluish-green or pea-green, and slightly yellowish between the areoles. The rind, 1/8 in (3 mm) thick, is composed of fused areoles more prominent and angular than those of the sugar apple, with tips that are rounded or slightly upturned; firm, pliable, and indehiscent. The fragrant flesh is snowy-white, of fine texture, almost solid, not conspicuously divided into segments, with fewer seeds than the sugar apple; sweet and subacid at the same time and resemblirig the cherimoya in flavor.

Turns out we are both wrong.

I vaguely remember discussing Cherimoya like fruit at the nursery. And I probably selected the Atemoya for its hardiness. But I lost those details somewhere along the way. Maybe it’s the tropical heat. 🙂

Who could have thunk it! It’s my first Atemoya harvest. The tree is easy to grow with few pests. And the fruit is fantastic! I’m loving it.


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