The forecast for the week had been rain, rain, and more rain, so while the sun was still lingering, I trudged over to the weekly Calvia farmers market. Calvia, the “big” village next door, holds its market every Monday. Situated on a blocked off side street and up a fairly steep incline, the market is a bit of a hodgepodge – cheap clothing, assorted leather goods, handmade jewellery, Esponja Boba (i.e. Spongebob) undies, and odds and ends towards the bottom of the hill; fresh produce, jamon, cheeses, sausages, olives, and all other edible goodies at the top. I suppose one has to earn the good stuff.
I came home with four beautiful cherimoyas priced at 1.95 euros per kilo. What a steal! In the States, these prized tropical fruits sometimes sell for upwards of $8 USD per pound (nearly $16 per kilo). Did I miss something? And should I have hoarded more??
I’ve grown up with parents who are enamored with the fruit. My Dad tends to the cherimoya tree in his California backyard with enormous attention and care, even pollinating the flowers by hand to ensure a good bounty. Having one for dessert, especially off the tree, was something very special.
The fruit, despite its alien appearance, is creamy; almost overly sweet (honey, banana, apple, pineapple flavors); and has a custard-like consistency. It’s best enjoyed by simply slicing in half and spooning out the inner flesh. To spit out the large black seeds – gracefully, however, takes some practice.
So back to my prized market stash. After coming home, lovingly setting down my cherimoyas, and doing a bit of reading, I learned that cherimoyas are actually grown in abundance in Spain, especially along the Mediterranean coast. With near ideal temperatures for the fruit, Malaga and Granada alone contain 3000 hectares of cultivated fruit trees. October signified the start of the cherimoya season and supposedly Spain is so overrun with these fruits that farmers and consumers alike are not quite sure what to do with it all. The fruits also do not keep for long once picked, maybe a week at best once ripened and refrigerated.
Well, I for sure know what to do… eat and enjoy. Lucky me!