Meet the beloved Atemoya, a rare cross between Cherimoya and Sugar Apple. Its name, “Atemoya”, stems from Sugar Apple’s Mexican name, “ate”, and the later portion of Cherimoya’s “moya”.
A member of the Annonaceae family, Atemoya bears distinctive aesthetics with rinds of fused, angular areoles of pea green to pale blue hues. Weighing up to 5 lbs a piece, the tropical deciduous hybrid of Sugar Apple and Cherimoya grows sweet, sub-acidic tasty fruits. The fruit’s flesh takes on a snowy-white interior and bears a custard-textured bite. The tree’s perfect hide-and-seek drooping-branches carry leathery leaves and triangular, yellow-blossoms bearing potent fragrance.
Crossed initially in 1908 at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s subtropical laboratory in Miami, P.J. Wester planted the first Atemoya seedlings in 1910. Their first fruits were said to be superior to the Sugar Apple and similar in flavor to Cherimoya. The fruits, when harvested, must be clipped from the branch with care once areoles widen and bear creamy lines at their edges. Eat Atemoya out of hand or try juicing it!
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