Winter is Cherimoya season in my backyard. About a week before Christmas this remarkable and delicious fruit is ready to pick . I get my really long fruit picker and look up into the tree tops for sagging branches The normal basket size of a picker is barely large enough for some of the giant delicious fruit from my tree .They blend in well , often covered by a tangle of branches and leaves. If I miss them today, I will find them in the driveway tomorrow. Splat,what a waste !
The Cherimoya fruit is native to the Andes in Equador, Colombia and Bolivia. The name is a Quechua word meaning "cold seed" as it tolerates colder temperatures and prefers higher altitudes. Makawao is a perfect place with all the right ingredients . Cherimoya was first introduced to Hawaii by Don Fransico Paulo Marin in the late 1700's. The USDA imported seeds from Maderia Portugal in the late 1800.s The immigrants who built my home, Hale Ho'okipa, were from Maderia. They brought the Isabel grape stock that still grows here, and likely the Cherimoya seeds . When I first met this tree, I did not understand why it was all scarred up, and learned it was common to shock the tree into bearing fruit..Not my style..I trim the branches constantly, but that is the only hacking that happens under my care.
The blossom has a heavenly fragrance, a bit like apple and pear..shaped like a little downy covered helicopters. When they float to the ground, the air is perfumed. The blossom does a magical pollination ( wind I think) as the flower is both male and female during it's cycle
With the many different varieties that now grow around the world, I think I have identified mine as the Booth with the Impressa fingertip sized depressions in the skin. The seeds are poisonous if crushed and ingested.
This ice creamy yummy fruit that comes from my tree is another blessing from this season.
May you be able to enjoy fresh food, and remember to support your local growers wherever you are.
A hui hou,
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