Friday, July 20, 2007

Cherimoya Cocktail and Pawpaws Coming

Cherimoyas don't find their way to Baltimore very often, so they're a buy whenever I encounter them. After finding some recently at Wegman's for the bargain price of about $3.00 a piece, my initial assumption was that they were in season, which is incorrect. A search on the web revealed that cherimoya season is from January to June, suggesting that these were a bit late. Perhaps for this reason, they seemed a little dry. However, they worked just fine as principal ingredient in the cocktail pictured above.

While these could be the last cherimoyas we'll be seeing for a while hereabouts, local native pawpaws are an apt substitute and will be ripe and ready in just a couple of months. Don't expect to find pawpaws, however, at Wegman's or even a farmers market. This largest of American native fruits grows wild along the banks of the Gunpowder, Potomac, Choptank, and other rivers. It is a member of the same family as the tropical cherimoya that very interestingly happens to be native to this temperate climate. Although a pawpaw's flavor can vary almost from tree to tree, the flesh of a good one will have the same texture and flavor of a chermoya. Both cherimoyas and pawpaws have identical looking dark brown seeds best removed with a grapefruit fork. Sublime hybrids have been developed and are available for sale by some growers, though it could be awhile before their fruits, which have a very limited shelf-life, become commercially viable---at least locally. If you wish to enjoy pawpaws come late September, the best bet is to research the Web. Now is hardly too late to start.

Stay tuned also to Unique Culinary Adventures, which has has even developed its own pawpaw liqueur. Oops! Pawpaw passion is sending us off on a tangent. Here's our recipe for making a cherimoya cocktail . It's a very special treat.


3/4 ounces cherimoya pulp

4 ounces light rum

2 ounces sugar

1 ounce Cointreaux

1 ounce lime juice

2 cups crushed ice

lime slices for garnish

Throw ingredients into blender in the order shown, then blend to smoothie consistency. Garnish with lime slice.