Tropical Fruit: Introduction To Atemoya

Explains what an atemoya is and where it is grown. Also includes recipes for cooking.

The atemoya is a tropical fruit that is produced from the atemoya tree, which is a medium sized tree that also bears flowers. Atemoya trees and fruits are native to South America, however, they are also found in the West Indies and in Florida, USA. The atemoya is a cross between the tropical fruits cherimoya and sugar apple, the latter of which the atemoya resembles in appearance. Because the atemoya is a hybrid fruit, its seeds are not used for its reproduction. Instead, grafting occurs. Additionally, this crossing of two other fruit types to produce the atemoya has resulted in a hearty and unique fruit.

An atemoya fruit is oval or round in shape, is sized from 3 to 5 inches in length, and can weigh anywhere from .50 to 1 lbs. Its outer skin can be smooth or lumpy but is always light green, or green and yellow in color. Inside the atemoya fruit, white flesh that resembles pudding can be found. Additionally, within this creamy flesh approximately thirty or more large and dark colored pits can be found. Atemoya fruit has a sweet taste that is similar to a "fruity vanilla". Because of this, the flesh of the atemoya fruit is typically used as an ingredient in desserts, including ice creams. Atemoya fruit is also popular when eaten raw with its flesh scooped out, then chilled and served.

Atemoya fruits can be purchased from August through September in some larger supermarket chains or wherever tropical fruits can be found. When purchasing an atemoya fruit, make sure that the fruit is free of any bruises or other defects. Additionally, select atemoya fruits that are slightly soft to the touch. A slightly soft atemoya indicates that the fruit is in a semi-ripened state, which is preferable because you can store the fruit at room temperature in your home for a longer period of time if the fruit is not fully ripened. By squeezing the fruit gently you can determine when an atemoya fruit is fully ripened. If the fruit yields easily to your touch, it is fully ripened. Once atemoya fruit is fully ripened, you can store it in your home for up to five days provided that you store it in your refrigerator.

Although the atemoya fruit has an appealing, sweet taste, it can also provide a healthy addition to your daily diet. This is because atemoya fruits are low in fat and contain no cholesterol. Additionally, they provide an excellent source of potassium and of vitamin C. Using atemoya fruit as a dessert, or in dessert recipes, allows you to enjoy a nutritious alternative to less healthy and more caloric after dinner or between meal treats.

The atemoya fruit is an incredibly versatile and robust fruit. Because of this, it is an excellent fruit to ship to friends and family who live in diverse geographical locations. Additionally, by shipping the fruit to others they too can come to understand what an atemoya is, how it can be used, and why it has been popular in certain tropical regions for so many years.

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