Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

cherimoya the fruit of Annona cherimola, a tree native to the mountains of Peru, where prehistoric terracotta vases modelled from it have been dug up, and Ecuador. It has since been introduced to subtropical regions around the world and is cultivated in many of them. It is worth noting, however, that outside its home range, for instance in California, pollination has to be done by hand as natural pollinators do not exist. Its name comes from the Peruvian chirimuya, meaning cold seeds; presumably an allusion to the wet freshness of the fruit and the large number of seeds which it contains.