A look at some of the lesser-known fruits and vegetables at the Wednesday Camana Bay Local Harvest Market
GENUS AND SPECIES:
Annonaceae (flowering plants)
OTHER NAMES IN THE WORLD:
Graviola, guabanana, Brazilian paw paw
The exterior of the fruit is green, leathery and covered in stubby prickles. The colour goes from dark green to lighter green as the fruit gets larger and ripens. The soursop can grow to be up to 12 inches long, and although generally ovoid with the stem end wider than the bottom, the shape is often irregular. The skin softens to the touch when pressed as it ripens. The flesh is white and juicy. Typical soursops contain anywhere from 30 to 200 smooth, hard, black seeds that are about one-half inch long.
The flesh is soft and juicy and fibrous in places.
Soursops have an aroma and flavour similar to pineapple. The ripe fruits are both sweet and sour, like lemon sorbet.
NUTRITION AND HEALTH BENEFITS:
Soursop fruits contain significant amounts of vitamin C as well as potassium, magnesium and several B vitamins, including thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and folate. Phytonutrients found in the fruit have antioxidant compounds that have been used to treat cancer.
HOW TO CONSUME:
After the seeds and pithy core are removed, the flesh can be eaten raw or blended and strained into juice for drinking or making candy, yoghurt, smoothies, ice cream or sorbet.
Soursop is legendary for its reputed therapeutic effects in humans and it is said to be anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-tumour, analgesic, hypotensive and anti-inflammatory and have immunity-enhancing effects. It is sometimes used to treat parasitic infections. Soursop leaf decoctions are used to treat head lice and bedbug infestations.