Sour Sop, Guanabana, Graviola, Guanaba: My Brush with Fame and Fortune

I posed the question last week to my faithful readers:  what the heck is this fruit?   The Spanish-only speaking gentleman at the fruit stand seemed to be indicating that it is delicious (smiling and the Mmmmm sound needs no translation.)

Once IDed as soursop, I popped it in the refrigerator and got ready for eating.  And once sliced open, I am totally hooked on this flavor.  So much so that I even “friended” Guanaba Soursop Graviola on Facebook (and stole a bunch of their gorgeous pictures in the Soursop fields of Costa Rica).  I can now count this fruit as one of my 910 best friends in the whole world.

Here is what mine looked like when cut open.  Okay…not her best shot.  No one is rushing to the store just yet.

Here is what a really nice one looks like.  (Thanks my new facebook friend.)

It is a member of the same family as the Custard Apple/Cherimoya and like it, the seeds need to be removed.  They contain a toxin.

Here are some more pretty pictures of the flower and then the fruit growing.

Gorgeous, right?

I took one scoop and was struck by genius (yet again…a burden I have learned to bear with grace).  It tastes like a creamy banana mixed with a strawberry…with a sour citrus flavor.  Almost like a Passion Fruit…but smooth. It is delicious and so distinct.  Only problem?  The fruit is kind of slimy…almost mucousy and very hard to pick apart with all of those seeds.

How to get the flavor but not the texture…SMOOTHIES!  Maybe a juice?  Certainly a sorbet or ice cream.

I had located my ticket to fame and fortune.  Discover something rare, something unknown.  CHECK.  Perfect its flavor and introduce it to the world…working.  Become the Soursop Czar of the World!

First some experimentation.  Scooping out the fruit is really a pain in the ass.  I’ll need to invent a machine for that.  I’ll worry about that later.

Then into a smoothie it went…the result was delicious.

First, I thought I’d run my idea by one of the employees at my condo complex.  You know…keep it on the down low.  I tried to seem nonchalant even though I was teetering on the edge of world wide acclaim.

He told me that Belizeans love the juice…so much so that there is a TANG flavor.  What?  TANG?

Okay, okay…calm down.  This stuff tastes horrible and is made from “artifical Guanabana flavoring”.

Let me run this by Eileen, co-owner of D and E’s Custard Shop on Middle Street in town.

She laughed in my face.  Soursop is one of the popular flavors in her parlor.  She makes the flavoring with the fresh fruit every year.  What are you going to invent next, Scoop?  (Her look said.)  Chocolate?

And walking home, I realized that the other ice cream shops got the memo too.  Though with a slightly different spelling.

And Celi’s Deli (home to the best johnny cakes in town)…

Whatever.  Who wants to be the SourSop Queen anyway?  Back to the drawing board.

If you are on facebook and want to see some really great pictures, become friends with Guanaba Soursop Graviola.  It is a grower of the soursop fruit in Costa Rica.

And (I know this is getting long) but let me explain all of the names.  The fruit is mainly called Soursop in Belize but the primarily Spanish speakers here call it Guanaba.  Graviola is the Portugese name.

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