Cherimoyas originated in South America; the name comes from Quechua (a native language of the Andes region). These green and yellow-green fruit have an unusual appearance, akin to dragon scales. The pale flesh inside is soft, sweet and low in acid. The flavor can be reminiscent of other tropical fruits (banana, pineapple, papaya), berries and vanilla custard. The fruit contains black seeds like those of the watermelon, but larger.

January to May, look for firm fruit (unless you wish to eat them sooner) with uniform color, though surface scars are normal. Allow to ripen on the counter until they give to slight pressure, similar to an almost-ripe avocado. Once they are ripe, store cherimoyas in the refrigerator. To serve: chill or freeze, then cut in half and eat with a grapefruit spoon. Cherimoyas can also be made into juice, sorbets, or even a custard-like sauce.