The cherimoya is a fruit of the species Annona cherimola and is commonly found in Peru. as well as other parts of South America and Central America. It has been called the “ice cream fruit” because it’s often served chilled and eaten with a spoon.
“Cherimoya the ice cream fruit” was cited in an advertisement in the Los Angeles (CA) Times in 1955. The nickname “ice cream fruit” had also been used in 1888, when it described the sour sop.
The cherimoya, also spelled chirimoya, is the fruit of the species Annona cherimola, which generally is thought to be native to the Andes, although an alternative hypothesis proposes Central America as the origin of cherimoya because many of its wild relatives occur in this area. Today cherimoya is grown throughout South Asia, Central America, South America, Southern California and southern Andalucia [La Axarquia].
Some characterize the flavor as a blend of banana, pineapple, papaya, peach, and strawberry. Others describe it as tasting like commercial bubblegum. Similar in size to a grapefruit, it has large, glossy, dark seeds that are easily removed. When ripe, the skin is green and gives slightly to pressure, similar to the avocado. Many people often chill the cherimoya and eat it with a spoon, which has earned it another nickname; the ice cream fruit.
Bulletin of the Experiment Station of Florida, at the State Agricultural College, Lake City, Fla.
J. Kost, Director
Jacksonville, FL: Times-Union Book and Job Office
The Cherimoya (Anona Cherimolia) is planted here and giving promising encouragement; a valuable fruit.
The Sour Sop or ice cream fruit (Anona muricata) is planted and doing finely; a valuable and delicious fruit.
25 May 1955, Los Angeles (CA) Times, pg. 19 ad:
EXOTIC SUBTROPICALS Delicious and unusual fruit plus tropical-looking ornamental foliage. Cherimoya the ice cream fruit.
Western Fruit Grower
Cherimoyas have a rough skin. They are slightly heart-shaped and vary widely size. Their interior is so light in color, they are called the “ice cream fruit,” or “sherbet fruit,” or custard apple.
Lost Crops of the Incas:
Little-Known Plants of the Andes with Promise for Worldwide Cultivation
By Ad Hoc Panel of the Advisory Committee on Technology Innovation, Board on Science and Technology for International Development, National Research Council
Washington, DC: National Academy Press
Chilled, it is like a tropical sherbet—indeed, cherimoya has often been described as “ice-cream fruit.” In Chile, it is a favorite filling for ice-cream wafers and cookies. In Peru, it is popular in ice cream and yogurt.
Google News Archive
7 February 1991, Ocala (FL) Star-Banner, “Lost Inca crops could feed world” by The Associated Press, pg. 2E, col. 5:
Cherimoya, a fruit Mark Twain called “deliciousness itself,” is green, heart-shaped and larger than a grapefruit. Its edible white flesh, sweet and creamy, has earned it the name “ice-cream fruit.”
Frog Hollow Farm
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2009
Cherimoya--the Andean ice cream fruit
A cherimoya (Annona cherimola) doesn’t look like luscious eating. Often shaped like a heart, it’s green, knobby, and pocked with scales like a pine cone. Yet hiding beneath the forbidding aspect of this pre-Columbian fruit is a seed-studded, creamy-custard pulp brimming with fragrant musky-sweet juice. (Some fans find the flavor similar to Juicyfruit® gum, or a mix of pineapple and guava.) Says Calimoya® founder Jay Ruskey, “The cherimoya will take you on a little vacation from the chill of winter.”
Los Angeles (CA) Times
The scoop on cherimoya, the ice cream fruit
March 6, 2012 | 9:19 am
Now, cherimoya gardeners have a wide choice, as was evident at the Cherimoya Festival 10 days ago at the UC South Coast Research & Extension Center in Irvine. Gardeners can find favorites such as El Bumpo, pictured here, a nubbly green grenade of complex flavor, the sweet perfume delivered with a creamy mouth-feel. The nickname ice cream fruit doesn’t come close to describing the custardy flesh surrounding the smooth seeds.