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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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ilama the principal Mexican name (derived, via Spanish, from the native Mexican name illamatzapotl, which translates as ‘old woman’s sapote’) for the fruit of the tree Annona diversifolia. This is native to Mexico but found elsewhere in Latin America, in regions of low elevation. It resembles the cherimoya, but the fruits are, according to some, even better.

The elongated fruits may be 15 cm (6") long and weigh close to a kilo (just over 2 lb). The skin is commonly rough, but sometimes smooth; the colour may be anything from green to pink, with a white bloom. The flavour of the pink varieties has a pleasant acidity like that of the cherimoya, while that of the green varieties is sweeter and closer to the sugar-apple.