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Soursop or guanabana September 13, 2007

Posted by adrien in Fruits & Vegetables.
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I found this morning on the market of Palmar de Aramara near Sam’s Club a very nice soursop. It is not easy to find good soursop, they are often too green or with lots of bruises. And I enjoyed all day long a fresh and delicious soursop water while my 6 years old son prefered a milky champola (a cuban version of soursop water where the milk replaces water).

I don’t like that much to eat soursop with a spoon, but it is one of my favourite fruit to make juice, smoothies, water, desserts, sorbets, mousse..etc.

Soursop derives its name from the Dutch zuur zak or sour sac. Sop is an English word meaning something which soaks up liquid; as the flesh of the soursop is saturated with juice, the name is not inappropriate. In spanish, it is called guanabana, mang cau in Vietnamese, corossol in French and thu rian khaek in Thai (some would ask where is the point to know the name of this fruits in those languages? Well, there is pointless, it is just the price to pay when you are a Vietnamese native with French citizen living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (where English is almost a second official language) and owning a Thai restaurant. It is all about credibility, maybe!)

The slightly bumpy thin skin of this irregularly shaped fruit is green even when it is ripe. Inside, the flesh is white and pulpy, full of shiny black seeds (the most complicated part in the preparation of this fruit: taking the seeds out), with a central pithy core running its length. The soursop bruises easily when it ripens, so buy it while still firm and wait until it yields slightly to gentle pressure. Then eat it immediately.

The flavor is somewhat acidic (that’s why it is better in desserts and drinks when the acidity is counteracted by added sugar). It is refreshing, with a faint fragance and an elusive but irresistible taste.

The soursop found in South East Asia is much more sweeter, juicier and better quality then the ones found in Mexico, specially in Bahia de Banderas where is one of the most pest-infected regions in Mexico. And soursop is a very high prized fruits for all kinds of bugs.

If you are in South East Asia, try the raw fruit or some soursop smoothy. If you travel to Mexico, try agua de guanabana, it is very refreshing. Soursop sherbet made in Oaxaca style (nieve de garafa) is one of my favourites. At Bai Sri we will offer home made Soursop sherbet and Soursop souflle this coming season.

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