“Name That Fruit” is the title of a TV game show mentioned in passing in Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next novels, which I highly recommend for everyone of quirky disposition and literary bent. When I first started reading the books, being a foodie in a big city where dragonfruit and passionfruit and other specimens of their exotic ilk were readily available, I was pretty confident I would be a very competitive contestant. Now I am not so sure. Why?
Give up? That’s a soursop, also known as guanábana, graviola, or ten to fifteen other names depending on what country you’re in at the time. It’s closely related to the cherimoya, which you may have seen at some better-stocked latin groceries. Apparently they can get really huge in southeast Asia, but around here they’re about the same size as a mango. Soursop is popular as a juice, but you can also wait until it’s really ripe (soft and very heavy for its size) chill it, and eat it like ice cream, watching out for the fibrous core and poisonous seeds. As the name implies it’s a little sour, but in a tangy refreshing way, with a nice sweetness too and a kind of creamy coconut/banana note on the bottom.
Since moving to Conakry I have also sampled pain de singe or monkey bread, the fruit of the baobab tree, but only as a drink made from the dried powdered flesh of the fruit. But anyway, I clearly have some more studying to do before I’m ready to go on the show. I expect it to be a delicious education.