We present our ecological Cherimoya, strictly organic cultivation grown on the tropical coast of Malaga. It is a fruit rich in vitamins (A, complex B and C) , in addition to minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc) It is characterized by its low sodium and fat content, I feel this another reason to eat custard apple, especially for people who suffer from high blood pressure and other heart disorders.
The Cherimoya, an exquisite fruit of tropical origin that envelops everyone with incredible magic, in terms of healing properties and benefits.
This fruit is known as custard apple, other names are: Anone, Tukib, Graviola and Chirimolla. It is often confused with other fruits, but the truth is that it has well-marked characteristics that make it unique.
The cherimoya from La Huerta de Pancha is organic, strictly organic. Very fleshy, small in size and with an incomparable sweetness. The custard apple is covered with a thin green skin, apparently scaly, inedible. Its interior is made up of a white and creamy pulp, with a sweet flavor that recalls the pear, although with certain acid touches that recall a mixture of pineapple and banana. The pulp contains black seeds, which are easily detached. It is a delicate tropical fruit and very sensitive to changes in temperature, hence it grows better in warm environments such as the tropical coast of Malaga.
PROPERTIES AND BENEFITS:
High content in carbohydrates , specifically glucose, fructose and sucrose. Natural sugars that provide cherimoya with a high caloric value but that nevertheless is a food with a low energy density, that is, it provides few calories in relation to its volume, giving it a great satiating capacity.
It has high levels of potassium and at the same time low sodium intake, which is why it is a natural regulator of blood pressure, which makes custard apple a recommended fruit for people suffering from hypertension or other cardiac disorders.
Rich in vitamin C , which in addition to having an antioxidant function is beneficial in the control of cholesterol and favors the immune system, facilitates the absorption of iron so it is suitable in people who suffer from anemia
Its content in digestive enzymes and soluble fiber facilitates digestion, helps protect the intestinal flora and regulates cholesterol, which makes it very advisable in weak people , convalescent, elderly, dyspepsia and especially in children and pregnant women. Sometimes, in people who suffer from constipation and consume this fruit for the first time, intestinal disorders appear. In these cases, the individual usually stops taking it immediately, believing that it feels bad, and what the drug is really doing custard apple is to help correct your intestinal problem . This intestinal reaction is intensified if custard apple is consumed for dessert after a very large meal.
It has an energetic effect, which is due to its content in group B vitamins (B1, B2 and B6), at the same time it is very nutritious, since both vitamins and calcium, magnesium and minerals they are very concentrated in their pulp. What makes it a recommended fruit both during pregnancy and for growing children.
Finally, it should be noted that some products extracted from custard apple seeds they have been successfully applied in research for the treatment of lice, dysentery, headaches, gout, and stones.
HOW TO EAT THE CHIRIMOYA:
The most common way to consume cherimoya is fresh, it does not require elaboration. Remove the pendulum or stem, if you have one, since it often falls by itself, especially if the fruit is already ripe. Cut the custard apple into two halves, remove the small inner stem and with a teaspoon, eat the pearly pulp, discarding the black seeds and the skin.
Cherimoya can also be used to make jams, ice creams, smoothies, juices, etc. In that case, just keep in mind that its pulp oxidizes quickly once opened, to avoid this it is enough to add a splash of lemon.
CONSERVATION OF CHIRIMOYA
The cherimoya that is grown on the Malaga coast is a seasonal fruit, which reaches its optimum development in autumn-winter. Once harvested, it requires two to four days to achieve a recommended point of maturation, normally we will know that it is at its point by the touch, because by pressing with the fingers gently we observe that the pulp yields slightly and because of the color, since in the tree It has a darker color and as it matures it becomes lighter in color. Because of its fragility, sometimes some dark spots may appear on the skin of the custard apple, this is normal and does not mean that it is in bad condition.
Cherimoya is a delicate fruit to handle that does not withstand extreme changes in temperature well, especially cold, which negatively affects its flavor, color and texture. So it is advisable to keep it out of the fridge whenever possible.
ORIGINS AND CULTIVATION TECHNIQUES:
The custard apple, whose scientific name is “ Annona cherimola “ , is a deciduous fruit tree that produces the fruit known as custard apple. Due to its size, it can grow in small or medium gardens, since it only reaches a height of 8 meters with a crown diameter of 3-4m and, in addition, it tolerates pruning very well.
All the indications indicate that the origins of this fruit are in the Andean zone, bordering between Ecuador and Peru between the 3rd and 8th centuries. In the Quechua language they called it chirimuya or “cold seeds”, alluding to the fact that the tree likes to grow at high altitudes with a sunny and cool climate. However, some historians also include the Andean areas of Chile and Colombia as the place of origin of this fruit. Later, after the discovery of America, it was introduced in the East, via Africa, by the first Spanish navigators. When they discovered it in America, they called it “manjar blanco”. There is evidence of its existence on the Granada coast for more than 400 years, but its cultivation itself and for commercial purposes began in the 1940s.
Spain, and more specifically the coast of Granada and the province of Malaga, is currently the world’s leading producer, with almost 80% of the total. It has been cultivated on our coasts since at least the seventeenth century, progressively adapting to local conditions. The season begins in mid-September and usually ends at the end of January, although projects have recently been carried out in order to combine early and late varieties in order to extend the season until June.
Although its origins are located in tropical latitudes, currently the ideal climate is the humid subtropical . It is sensitive to low temperatures although its behavior as a deciduous in cold periods makes it somewhat tolerant in times of “rest”. The cold in the periods of flowering and fruit set ruin the production. Above 30ºC irregularities occur in growth and fruit set. It also needs relatively constant humidity around 70%, so the southern coastal areas are the most suitable.
It has a very good adaptation to different types of soil, even those of not very good quality. It is not the most limiting factor of the crop. Taking this into account, say that you prefer loamy soils with sewer system and rich in organic material . What we have to watch a bit is to avoid waterlogging and the pH, which must be neutral since alkalinity produces chlorosis with relative ease that we will have to correct in case it happens.
Regarding the irrigation needs, it is very demanding due to the high evapotranspiration of the crop. Irrigation The blanket is the traditional method, although it is being replaced by localized micro-sprinkler irrigation that provides a more constant supply and reduces the chances of waterlogging.
An annual glass-forming pruning is carried out with 3 or 4 branches. Fruiting pruning is done by removing suckers and especially to limit branches in height and leave the tree with a short stature of 2-2.5 m to allow manual handling without complications both in pollination and harvesting.
The pollination of the custard apple is the most important and in turn more complicated phase since the flowers present dicogamy, that is, each flower enters the male or female phase at different times of the day so that natural self-pollination becomes laborious for get a good business return. There are farmers who get the custard apple to self-pollinate, but it is always advisable to do it manually to avoid deformation of the fruit due to insufficient pollination. Hand pollination can provide up to five times more fruit than naturally. To achieve manual pollination we have to collect the pollen from the male flower early in the afternoon and keep that pollen cold until the next morning, then the pollen that we have previously conserved will be used to pollinate the same flowers that will present their phase at that time. female.
Flowering is usually to late spring and early summer depending on the climate and the variety therefore that will be the moment to pollinate. Once this task is done, the fruit will develop until its full maturity, which will be during the fall.
Finally, in terms of post-harvest, cherimoya is a very delicate fruit, comparable to strawberries, which are packed between cotton wool because any blow damages its skin. Also in the case of custard apple, due to its weight, a fall or blow is fatal. Even friction between fruits is also harmful so that is why we see that they are transported wrapped with white protective plastic foam nets, fruit by fruit.
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