Cherimoya

Aloha,

Winter is Cherimoya season in my backyard. About a week before Christmas this remarkable and delicious fruit is ready  to pick . I get my really long  fruit picker and look up into the tree tops  for sagging branches   The normal basket size of a picker is barely large enough for some of the giant delicious fruit from my tree .They blend in well , often covered by a tangle of branches and leaves. If I miss them today, I will find them in the driveway tomorrow. Splat,what a waste !
This  creamy white fruit is sweet with about 15% sugar content . My guests  are in awe and get their fill  during breakfast.
The Cherimoya fruit is native to the Andes in Equador, Colombia and Bolivia. The name is a Quechua word meaning "cold seed" as it tolerates colder temperatures and prefers higher altitudes. Makawao is a perfect place with all the right ingredients . Cherimoya was first introduced to Hawaii by Don Fransico Paulo Marin in the late 1700's. The USDA imported seeds from Maderia Portugal in the late 1800.s The immigrants who built my home, Hale Ho'okipa, were from Maderia.  They brought the Isabel grape stock that still grows here, and likely the  Cherimoya seeds . When I first met this tree, I did not understand why it was all scarred up, and learned it was common to shock the tree into bearing fruit..Not my style..I trim the branches constantly, but that is the only hacking that happens under my care.
The blossom has a heavenly fragrance, a bit like apple and pear..shaped like a little downy covered helicopters. When they float to the ground, the air is perfumed. The blossom does a magical pollination ( wind I think) as the flower is both male and female during it's cycle
With the many different varieties that now grow around the world, I think I have identified mine as the Booth with the Impressa fingertip sized depressions in the skin. The seeds are poisonous if crushed and ingested.
This ice creamy yummy fruit that comes from my  tree is another blessing from this season.

May you be able to enjoy fresh food, and remember to support your local growers wherever you are.

A hui hou,
Cherie

Upcountry Bounty

organic Hawaiian tropical fruit from the garden of the Hale Hookipa Inn Maui Hawaii Bed and Breakfast
Yum, yum Aloha....

This ono (delicious) organic bounty was picked from the organic garden of the Hale Ho'okipa today. My garden produces an abundance of food. The Winter Pears, avocados, are so creamy and filling, a meal in itself. I serve them in the morning for breakfast. My famous combo is avocado and chili peppa jelly on toast. I have made many converts at the breakfast table.

The papayas are also pumping out now that the rain has come. I had the good fortune of getting a Mexican papaya which produces really large fruit. In all the papayas I have served for breakfast, I've only found one seed from this variety. I'm wondering when I will come across another one to germinate. The Hawaiian sunrise papayas are my favorite, and are the sweetest.

It's been a bumper year for the lilikoi, passion fruit. I have three varieties producing fruit, and two more varieties that are keiki's, young plants. With lilikoi, the more wrinkles, the sweeter they are. (Ah, more good things to be said about aging...) The passion fruit has a very bold flavor, and it makes great toppings for cheesecake, or fish, and they really add a zing to my morning fruit salads. People wake up in a hurry when they slurp a passion fruit. I always get a little chuckle out of the surprised expressions.

Being such a dry and windy spring, most of my cherimoya blossoms sailed away on the wind. They look like little helicopters, and their fragrance is so special and subtle, like an apple, pear combo. The flesh of the cherimoya is white and super sweet. I call it ice cream fruit. The local name for it is custard apple. They have a very short shelf life because of all the sugar. I am usually trying to give away lots of them, or scrapping them up off the driveway if I did not get to them in time. But, it has been a precious few this year.

This tropical bounty is very satisfying...even so, I have to admit that I look forward to cherries in the summer, and apricots. I do have three special upcountry peach trees that are heavy with peaches in the summer.
We are so lucky to be able to grow year round here. Come on over for breakfast, you'll be glad you did!

Malama ka aina , care for the land...and it gives back to you.........

With Aloha,

Cherie