Sour sop fruit
Soursops grow on evergreen trees that reach up to 9 meters tall with large, glossy, green leaves. The fruit are irregularly shaped ranging from oval to heart or kidney-shaped and are covered in small spiny protrusions. Soursops are considerably large, averaging 10 to 30 centimeters long and weighing up to 15 pounds. As the fruit matures, the dark green, leathery skin becomes a pale green and will yield to slight pressure. The inner pulp is cream-colored and separates easily into fibrous, juicy segments that contain shiny, oval-shaped, inedible black seeds. Soursops have a tropical aroma with a flavor that is reminiscent of pineapple, strawberry, coconut and banana.
Soursops are available year-round, with peak seasons from winter to late fall in various regions of the tropics.
Soursops are a tropical fruit, botanically classified as Annona muricata and are close relatives of the cherimoya, atemoya and custard apple. They are also commonly referred to as Graviola or Guanabana. There are many varieties of Soursop, with 14 different types cataloged on the island of Puerto Rico alone. They are categorized by acidity, shape, and flesh consistency. Natural compounds found within the flesh, bark and leaves of the Soursop have been linked to fighting certain cancers.
Soursops are a good source of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins B-complex and C, as well as iron. Certain fatty compounds called acetogenins, particularly annonacin, have been studied for their cancer fighting properties.
Soursops are most often eaten raw, either scooped straight from the skin or perhaps in the form of a puree. The fruit is ideal for processing and preservation and often made into a sweet beverage. The pulp is pushed through a sieve or cheesecloth and the resulting juice is mixed with milk or water and sweetened. The juice can be used to make ice creams, sorbets, mousse, or custards; it also makes a nice cocktail when mixed with alcohol. The pulp can be frozen and eaten or used to create jellies, syrups or nectar.