Today I wanted to share an exotic fruit with you, the soursop fruit.
What is the Soursop fruit?
Soursop, also known as guanabana, graviola, or Brazilian pawpaw, is a tropical fruit with a green leathery and spiky skin, making it look like a plump little dragon.
It is related to the custard apple and has a similar texture. Behind the rough facade hides deliciously creamy and tropically fragrant flesh, which is smooth and creamy like a custard with a slightly grainy texture.
The taste has a hint of mango, pineapple, strawberry, and citrus with a texture reminiscent of a ripe banana. It contains a high amount of fiber, vitamin C, and other antioxidants.
In Goa, my second home, people call this wondrous fruit juliao or जुलीआव in Konkani.
Around the world, soursop is known under various names such as guanábana (Spanish), graviola (Portuguese), Brazilian pawpaw, guyabano, corossolier, toge-banreisi, durian benggala, nangka blanda, and nangka londa.
In Malayalam, it is called mullaatha, which literally means "thorny custard apple."
In Hindi, this fruit is named hanumanphal after the monkey god Hanuman.
Interestingly, all the fruits of the Anona family, such as the sweetsop and custard apple, despite their foreign origins and relatively recent introduction to the country by Portuguese traders, are also called after Hindu gods - sitaphal, ramphal, and laxmanphal.
It is said that these are the fruits the gods had respectively during their 14-year-long sojourn in the forest.
Though this interesting-looking fruit and the seeds and leaves of the tree have been touted as a cure for cancer, you should be careful when consuming any part of the tree as they might cause allergies and adverse reactions.
No scientific studies support the claim that soursop is effective in curing cancer.
Like many fruits and vegetables, soursop has a high level of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, particularly phosphorus, calcium, iron, B vitamins, and vitamin C.
But as with any fruit or vegetable being touted as a "superfood" or "cure for cancer," one should remember that unfortunately, there is no miracle health cure, and health can only be achieved by leading a healthy lifestyle which includes regular exercise and the inclusion of various whole grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
Soursop is best eaten raw and when fully ripe.
The fruit can be cut open with a knife, and the creamy flesh scooped out with a spoon.
There are numerous glossy mahogany-colored seeds inside the soursop.
The fruit is widely consumed in Brazil, Mexico, and the Caribbean in juices, smoothies, custards, ice cream, and other desserts.
Guanabana is wonderful when paired with milk.
You can experiment with this delicious fruit and use it in cheesecakes, muffins, oatmeal, or to create a tropical fruit yogurt.
If you like lemon curd, you could make a soursop curd.
While mostly used in sweet preparations, there are some recipes using soursop to make a vegan fish substitute.
The recipe uses an unripe fruit that is breaded and fried just like you would prepare a white and flaky fish.
Once the fruit is ripe, it has to be consumed soon.
The moment the spikes on the fruit turn brown, the fruit has to be consumed.
The fruit ripens very fast and will become super soft.
You can freeze the pulp for later use.
The best way to do that is to freeze the pulp in an ice cube tray so that it can be stored easily in a jar, glass container, or freezer bag.
Where to buy it?
In big cities in the US, check local Latin American and East Asian grocery stores where you might be able to find fresh soursop fruit and canned or frozen pulp.
Online, there are several Caribbean, Latin American, and East Asian grocery stores that carry the pulp, such as.
Walmart and Instacart also carry soursop pulp.
Instacart has a variety of tropical fruit pulps by Goya, including soursop.
Also, tropical fruit sellers, such as carry soursop, which can be bought in a box of 4-6 fruits.
Interestingly, you can get fresh soursop fruits frown in the US on Etsy and eBay from independent farmers.
How to grow it?
If you live in a tropical country, you could try your hand at growing this majestic fruit from seeds. You can get the seeds on Amazon or a sapling from Etsy or eBay.
The tree needs a lot of rain, well-drained rich soil containing manure or compost, and high air humidity.
The tree grows very quickly, and it takes about 5 years for the seed to grow into a tall but thin tree. The fruits will start to appear after about 3-4 years.
I created a list of tropical fruits that I have put together if you are into exotic specimens.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comment section further below!
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