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Atemoya FAQs

Nick Musica
Published Mar 15, 2021. Read time: 1 minute

Biting into a fresh, ripe atemoya is like experiencing nature’s most perfect, creamy pina colada in fruit form. The white flesh is sweet, tart and tropical with flavors of pineapple, cherimoya and vanilla. Atemoya are at their most tasty and fragrant when fully ripe, and the white flesh is juicy, custard soft and scoopable.

These green, heart shaped fruits have a uniquely textured surface. As a hybrid of sugar apples and cherimoyas, atemoya have striking rounded green spikes at the top that flatten like scales toward the bottom of the heart-shaped fruit. They’re smaller than their cherimoya parent, about the size of a grapefruit.

Atemoya fruits are a delicious hybrid between the sugar-apple (Annona squamosa) and the cherimoya (Annona cherimola). Created in Miami, Florida in the early 1900’s, atemoyas are sometimes called pineapple sugar apple or mini soursop. 

Atemoya are harvested when they’re green, which is the natural ripened color of their peel. Browning around the edges of their textured skin will happen naturally as the fruit ripens. Inside, atemoya flesh is milky white, firm but effortlessly scoopable and juicy. At the center are large, inedible black seeds with pointed ends.

Store fresh atemoya fruits in a cool, dark ventilated area for up to two weeks. Once ripened, refrigerate for up to three days. You’ll see that atemoyas are ripe when there’s slight browning on the skin, and the fruit yields slightly to gentle thumb pressure.

Atemoya fruits are a hybrid fruit whose creation is credited to an American horticulturist in the early 1900s. Today they are cultivated throughout tropical regions of the world in North, Central and South America, Taiwan, the Middle East and Tanzania. Like it’s parents the sugar apple and cherimoya, they grow on deciduous trees that can reach up to 30 feet tall. Atemoya trees bear fruit in the late summer through the fall, from about August through October.

Atemoya are harvested when they’re green, which is the natural ripened color of their peel. Browning around the edges of their textured skin will happen naturally as the fruit ripens. Inside, atemoya flesh is milky white, firm but effortlessly scoopable and juicy. At the center are large, hard black seeds with pointed ends.

An atemoya is ready to eat and enjoy within 1-2 days of receiving them, as they ripen quickly (think of how fast avocados and bananas ripen on the counter). You’ll see that it’s ripe when there’s slight browning on the skin, and the fruit yields slightly to gentle thumb pressure. Browning will happen naturally as the fruit ripens. Please note that browning of the fruit is not indicative of a bad fruit. It means the fruit is ripe and ready for you to enjoy!

Preparing atemoya is easy, but takes some patience and a sense of humor. There’s no graceful way to eat atemoya because they’re quite juicy and soft. Eat these in the presence of loved ones who won’t judge you for getting a little messy in the presence of exquisite fruit.

The first time you see one of these funny fruits you’ll notice peel has a lot of texture. However, it’s surprisingly easy to cut with a sharp knife. First, slice the atemoya in half lengthwise. Eat it with a spoon directly from the peel, or slice it further for other preparations. To do this, carefully scoop out the flesh and separate the skin from the fruit. Be sure to discard all of the seeds before using in recipes as they are inedible and toxic.

No, atemoya seeds are toxic and cannot be eaten. Here at FruitStand, we recommend removing the seeds before serving.

Atemoya fruits are a hybrid fruit whose creation is credited to an American horticulturist in the early 1900s. Today they are cultivated throughout tropical regions of the world in North, Central and South America, Taiwan, the Middle East and Tanzania. Like it’s parents the sugar apple and cherimoya, they grow on deciduous trees that can reach up to 30 feet tall.

Atemoya is a rare specialty fruit in the United States, and there isn’t a lot of reliable information about its nutritional makeup. The USDA provides nutrition facts about atemoya’s parent fruits, the cherimoya and sugar apple, for reference. Your friends at FruitStand recommend asking your doc nutritionist for more information.

Atemoya fruit comes into season in the late summer and remains through the fall, from about August through October.

If you can manage to keep yourself from devouring all your atemoya at once, they can be used in a variety of ways. Cook them in sweet recipes like jams, candies, ice cream and sorbet. Slice raw atemoya over salads, yogurt or granola. Make fresh or frozen drinks from atemoya fruit and juice for a tropical twist on your favorite beverages!

Biting into a fresh, ripe atemoya is like experiencing nature’s most perfect, creamy pina colada in fruit form. The white flesh is sweet, tart and tropical with flavors of pineapple, cherimoya and vanilla. Atemoya are at their most tasty and fragrant when fully ripe, and the white flesh is juicy, custard soft and scoopable.

Atemoya can be eaten raw (without the seeds) or cooked into sweet and savory recipes alike. Add pitted atemoya flesh to your morning granola or evening ice cream! Raw atemoya fruit adds tart, tropical flavor to salads, pastries, desserts and drinks. They’re eaten in similar ways as one of it’s parent fruits, the cherimoya. So check out FruitStand’s collection of cherimoya recipes for more ideas on how to eat this specialty fruit.

Atemoya is a perfect tropical fruit for delicious beverages. After all, it’s basically a pina colada in fruit form! Process the pitted fruit in an electric juicer or press for fresh fruit juice at home. Dice up cubes of the tart fruit and add it to your coconut water, cocktails, batch drinks, and creative concoctions. To make delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, use your atemoyas to make a basic syrup, then add it to your drinks.

Store fresh atemoya fruits in a cool, dark ventilated area for up to two weeks. As tropical fruit, atemoyas naturally prefer to exist temps above 55 degrees. Once ripened, refrigerate for up to three days. It tastes even better when it’s chilled!

Leftover atemoya fruit should be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator where it will stay fresh for up to three days. 

Atemoya freezes beautifully. Wait until they’re just ripe, then freeze them whole or peeled and pitted in an airtight container for up to three months.

No, dogs cannot eat atemoya. The seeds, in particular, are toxic and should be kept away from pets. Over at FruitStand, we love sharing fruit with our wet-nosed friends, so we encourage you to clear the safety of any new fruits or veggies with your veterinarian before offering them your pooch.

Even though atemoya fruit has a pale color, if it comes in contact with light colored fabrics its tasty juice can leave a stain. Tuck a hanky in your collar before diving into ripe atemoya!

Fruit Geek 101: Keep a portable stain stick on hand for impromptu fruit feasts. Quickly treating a fruit juice spot greatly increases your chances of avoiding a stain.

In life, a little fruit must fall. If you drop a bit of atemoya on your clothing, table cloth or napkins, first treat the spot with a stain remover that’s safe for that particular fabric. Follow the directions on the product to prevent the spot from setting, and pop the item into the washer as soon as you can.

Atemoya and cherimoya share a family resemblance for good reason. It’s because the atemoya fruit is a hybrid between cherimoya (Annona cherimola) and sugar-apple (Annona squamosa). If you love one, you’re bound to love the other, even though they’re different fruits.

These green, heart shaped fruits have a uniquely textured surface. You can tell the difference between them by noticing atemoya’s rounded spikes and cherimoya’s flat scales. Atemoya are a bit smaller than the cherimoya, earning them the nickname “mini soursop”. The pointed, black seeds of both fruits are about an inch long and are interspersed in the fruit’s flesh. Discard the seeds as they are inedible and toxic.

Atemoya’s flavor has a more tart, pineapple flavor whereas cherimoya has a sweeter, vanilla flavor that’s often compared to ice cream! Both fruits have a tropical fragrance and soft, custard like flesh when perfectly ripe.

If your atemoya spoils, things could smell a little funky. It’s easy to get bad smells from atemoya out of your house with a few simple steps. First, discard any spoiled atemoya and get it out of the house. Then, clean the area where atemoya was stored with hot, soapy water or home cleaning spray. Let it dry thoroughly.

To prevent bad smells from fruit in your kitchen and home, keep an old-fashioned box of baking soda in your fridge and anywhere you store food every two to three months to prevent unpleasant aromas before they start.

If you’ve ever wondered where to buy atemoya, we’ve got great news for you! FruitStand is proud to partner with small, specialty farmers to bring you exceptional quality atemoya fruits. To be the first to know when FruitStand is shipping atemoya harvests directly to your doorstep, join our email newsletter!

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