Three Cheers for the Cherimoyas! – Alicante, Spain

I made my way to the beach and nestled into a nice little spot near the water. There were people sunbathing and swimming as well as playing beach sports. The temperature was near 30 C but it really didn`t feel too hot. I ate my selection of fruits while feeling myself melting into a state of relaxation I haven`t been to for a while.

For the first time in a long time, I had nothing to do. I had no books or papers to write on and nothing to fiddle with except the sand before me. I drew little circles in the fine powder flipping around ideas of where I should go next. Either east or south…I was worrying about it for a while when I realized that these things work out better when I just release them for a while. I drifted off inhaling the ocean air and letting the sun coax my body into bliss.

Around 5ish, I decided to get moving again this time taking a different route home. I walked up the main street and then down another busy one that crossed it. I wonder why these restaurants put bad pictures of all the plates they offer. They look like they were taken 50 years ago and are really not very appetizing at all.

I found a supermarket and went in to get a few basics. I was so excited when I found the cherimoyas in the fruit section. The one and only time I have ever had a “custard apple” was in Barcelona but I fell in love with it. I actually didn`t even know what it was called until today. It is by far my favorite fruit and I almost jumped up and down when I found them. I bought two.

I was so excited to get home and eat but I had one problem. I didn`t know where home was. I forgot to take the address and somehow I couldn`t recognize anything in the neighborhood. I paced up and down the streets trying to find the iron gate that would fit my key. Feeling pretty defeated, I just stood there on a corner with my bags of groceries trying to think of what I should do. I tried the cell phone but it didn`t seem to want to work. An old man asked me if I was lost and I just said no. What good would it be to tell him I was lost if I didn`t even know where I was going? I felt like the kid in the department store who lost their mother. It was a little scary but I was more irritated by the fact that it was getting between me and eating my cherimoya.

After about an hour I finally found it and dashed past the doorman who was eyeing me suspiciously. I am sure he saw me wandering past a few times and thought I was a shady character. I didn`t give him time to ask questions. At least I knew what floor I was supposed to go to. I did however think that I forgot the apartment number when my key wouldn`t work. Another five minutes of fiddling around with the key and it opened. I can`t tell you my relief. I am not leaving here again! I thought to myself.

I sat myself down and ate my reward, spooning the sweet creamy meat into my mouth. I spit out the giant watermelon like seeds and scraped the sides dry. It was just as good as I remember. Yum! How could a fruit be so rich and dessert-like yet refreshing at the same time? I don`t know the answer to that but I plan to get my fill of them while I am here just in case there is another cherimoya drought in my life again.

I worked for the next few hours drinking tea tea and more tea. Fed came home at around 11ish and we headed out to grab a bite to eat. We went to a restaurant around the corner and got in just before they were closing the kitchen. They gave us bread and a tray with mayonnaise and a red tomatoey like sauce. It was quite tasty and I wondered why I had never thought of that before. Much more interesting than plain old butter.

I ate a really good salmon ravioli (they called it panzarotti or something like that but it was really just ravioli, trust me) with a very rich cream sauce. Fed laughed when I dumped the red tomotoey sauce from the bread into my plate. I needed to cut the richness somehow and it did the trick quite well.

We took a wander through the city to find out what was happening in Alicante nightlife. First we went to the touristy area near the port where prices are exhorbent and a people are more dressed up. I noticed that there was a club called Carmela`s but we couldn`t get the camera to take a clear picture of me in front. We didn`t hang around the port for long because I said that I would prefer to go where the locals hang.

Fed seemed pleased at that and led me to the Barrio where clubs, pubs and bars are abundant. We navigated our way through the crowded groups of party goers spilling out to the narrow cobblestone streets. The music was generally Spanish and the people watching was good. The styles that they wear here are worth the price of admission alone. Many of the bars were long and narrow without much room to move. There seems to be quite a lot of competition for your business so at every corner there are people handing out little flyers.

That`s how we found one that was just opening in the basement of some backstreet that was a little out of the way. We were lured by the cheap drinks but that didn`t keep us long. The speakers were tied to the wall with rope and the decor were posters from some 16 year olds bedroom on the walls. The DJ was worse than bad and the crowd was trying. We had the most fun watching the bar guy running around collecting glasses because they didn`t have enough. He would get so excited when he would get a whole handful I swear he was going to jump right over the bar. As entertaining as that was, it wasn`t enough to keep us.

We left and checked out another club that was in another area. Here the music was good but the atmosphere was lacking and so were the people. Finally, we just called it a night and headed home. From here we hopped in the car and drove to yet another club but this one was dead as well. We ended up chatting and driving around which was probably the most fun I had all night. Especially since Fed keeps cookies in his car (as well as stashed all over his apartment as well), the cookie cruise was quite the success.

Cherimoya

The delicious fruit from the Incas. Cherimoya is the tastiest fruit of the various Anon varieties and is originally from the part of the Andes (the mountain area) between Colombia to Bolivia, at an altitude of 1000 to 2000m. Nowadays the fruit is cultivated world-wide in tropical mountains and in sub-tropical or mediterranean areas.

The cherimoya is called “the tree of icecream” and the fruits taste like a blend of pineapple, mango and strawberry flavours. Cherimoyas are ripe within two to seven days at room temperature. You should eat ripe fruits immediately. Ripe fruits are green and give to slight pressure, like an avocado or peach. Cherimoyas are very delicate and are exported on a small scale. The cherimoya season is from June to October in New Zealand.
Ripe fruits are green and taste like a fruit salad combination.
It`s skin feels leather-like and the white flesh contains black pips.
Are originally from South America.
Contain a lot of dextrosis.
Ripe within two to seven days at room temperature. Eat ripe fruits immediately.

What Do Cherimoyas Taste Like?
The unusual almost prehistoric appearance of the cherimoya belies its exquisite and sophisticated flavour. The cherimoya`s velvety fruit is a delicious flavour-blend of banana and pineapple. Its texture is much like a papaya. Mark Twain once characterized the exotic cherimoya as, “Deliciousness Itself!”

How Do I Eat A Cherimoya?
Eat when soft like an avacado. Slice it in wedges and enjoy it like an orange. Scoop it with a spoon and enjoy like half a watermelon. Many cherimoya aficionados add a few drops of lime to embellish the flavour. Do NOT eat the seeds or the skin.

How Else Do I Serve Cherimoyas?
Cherimoyas are superb in an icy fruit smoothie or mixed into ice cream or yogurt. Add cherimoya to a classic fruit salad to create a surprisingly delicious twist with the usual apples, berries and bananas. Or, serve the fruit with your favourite red or white wine for a unique tasting adventure.

When Are They Ripe?
Cherimoyas are quick to ripen at room temperature and are ready to slice and eat when they just begin to soften to the touch. Check frequently and avoid over-ripening. It`s best to refrigerator an optimally ripe cherimoya and eat it chilled than to allow the fruit to over-ripen.

What Are The Nutritional Facts?
The unique flavour and creamy texture make the cherimoya a delicious fruit and a delightful change from the more common winter fruits. Cherimoyas are a rich source of vitamin C, calcium and niacin.
Nutrition Facts based on half a cherimoya as single serving size:
Serving Size: 100g
Amount Per Serving: Calories 80
Total Fat: 0.5g Sodium: 0mg
Total Carbohydrate: 18g
Fiber: 1.5g
Protein: 1.4g
Calcium: 21.7mg
Potassium: 0mg
Niacin: 1.02mg
Vitamin C: 16.8mg
Iron: 0.8mg
Phosphorus: 30.2mg
Thiamin: 0.12mg
Riboflavin: 0.11mg

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