I occasionally watch YouTube videos of life in Taiwan that my boyfriend shows me. I am especially interested when foreigners living in Taiwan discuss the local delicacies and fruits of the region. One such fruit I have been most curious about is the Custard Apple, seemingly delicious and something unbeknown to me. It seems silly now, but I didn’t bother researching further into this fruit. I merely kept an eye out to see if I spotted one at 99 Ranch (an Asian supermarket chain). My assumption was that I would only be able to find it at a 99 Ranch.
This weekend we were at 99 Ranch shopping for fruits and vegetables–something you would have seldom seen me do just a year ago–and my boyfriend abruptly stopped in front of a pile of custard apples. It was labeled as Cherimoya, which I immediately recognized as a fruit I have heard my mother talking about ever since I can remember. My mother is from the state of Sinaloa in Mexico and the Spanish spelling for this fruit is Chirimoya–quite similar. Being as most children tend to be, I refused to even go near this Chirimoya. I was now heading to the checkout counter with my precious in hand (despite its almost nine dollar a pound price), eagerly awaiting to try it.
We brought just one home as my boyfriend doesn’t like it. I cut the cherimoya in half and smelt it. It was slightly like Papaya–a delicious fruit with a slightly off-putting smell. I grabbed a spoon and began to dig in, keeping the meaty fruit in its skin so each half would act as a bowl. The spoon sank into the fruit with only the slightest of efforts and when I brought this custard into my mouth, the texture was almost exactly like custard, smooth, creamy, and oh so sweet. Had I not cut the fruit open myself, and had it not been for the seeds; I would have suspected a confectioner carved out the fruit and using each hemispherical half of skin as a bowl on which they placed a rich and creamy dessert. I was having the most wonderful dessert without the guilt as I pondered on my discovery of a memory.
I offered my boyfriend an opportunity to share in my delight, which he fortunately declined. I would have this wonderful Chirimoya all to myself…loving Los Angeles, thinking of Mexico, and dreaming of Taiwan.