Also known for its consistency reminiscent of ice cream, annona is a tropical fruit half Italian and half South American.
“The fruit that looks like ice cream.” This is one of the many names that have given annona (often known in Italian as cirimoia), a fruit that is half Italian and half South American . Very common in South America, California and in the Mediterranean basin (but also present in the southern territories of Africa), annona is considered a very valuable fruit . “One of the three most prized fruits in the world,” according to the botanist Berthold C. Seemann.
In today’s article we will find out more about this particular fruit, analyzing its main characteristics , its beneficial properties and its possible uses.
The main features of the Annona
Annona cherimola is a plant belonging to the Annonaceae family . It is widespread in different parts of the world, including Italy . In the peninsula it grows mainly in the south, especially in Calabria and on the Ionian coast.
The plant, which produces the fruit that is the protagonist of this article, grows up to two meters in height and blooms during the summer season. The fruit, ripe from September, can be harvested in the autumn until December.
Green in color, the fruits are covered with scales . The pulp, rich in black seeds (inedible), is cream white in color. The taste is strong but pleasant, with an almost acidic aftertaste. The creamy consistency : reminiscent of an ice cream.
The Annona fruit: nutritional values and properties
The pulp of annona, very sugary , similar to that of an apple, provides just under 80 kcal for every 100 grams.
The lipid content is very low, less than one gram per 100, as well as that of proteins : 1.6 grams per 100. The higher the carbohydrate and sugar content : respectively 18% and 13% of the total. Cirimoia also has a good content of vitamin C , around 11 milligrams.
Annona is a tropical fruit, appreciated for its taste which, although relatively acidic, recalls that of mango . In addition to the tropical flavor, cirimoia also has some beneficial properties . In particular, it contains many antioxidants.
Its antioxidant effects derive from the presence of a polyphenol: annonacin . It is precisely the latter that helps protect the cardiovascular system , as well as the nervous system . Helps control blood pressure and bad cholesterol level in the blood. The antioxidant properties are also suspected of having anticancer effects . However, there is no scientific evidence on the latter point.
Use in the kitchen and contraindications
There are several ways to consume the Annona fruit. First of all, if deprived of the seeds, it can be eaten with a teaspoon . However, it is necessary to wait about a week from the harvest to take it.
In addition to being eaten naturally, the fruit can be eaten as part of salads , fruit salads and much more. It can be added to yogurt , smoothies or desserts .
Although annona can have beneficial effects, it can also have some side effects . In fact, if consumed in excessive quantities it could cause intestinal or neurological disorders. Absolutely avoid in case of allergies to tropical fruits.