Cherimoyas are in season. We have recipes

Cherimoya fruit from Rancho El Rincon at the Santa Monica farmers market.
(Noelle Carter / Los Angeles Times)

What’s in season: At first glance, the mounds of cherimoyas at the market might look like prehistoric eggs or hand grenades; the oddly shaped fruit is covered with a leathery green skin marked with large indentations. But the cherimoya, also known as a “custard apple,” is prized for its velvety texture and sweet flavor, with notes of banana, papaya and pineapple. The season for the tropical fruit, first planted in California in 1871, generally ranges from November through late spring.

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What to cook: For a simple snack, peel and slice the fruit, making sure to discard the large black seeds, which are toxic. Toss the slices in a salad for extra texture or layer the slices on top of a rustic tart, brushing the fruit with a flavored simple syrup for added sheen. Purée the fruit for smoothies or cocktails and freeze the purée for a creamy granita or semifreddo.


What’s on the horizon: Artichokes are beginning to make an appearance at select stands, along with asparagus and green garlic, an immature version of garlic bulbs.


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