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The Guanabana (pronounced gwuh-nah-buh-nuh) is a large, crooked heart-shaped fruit with small spike-like protrusions. The skin is dark-green and turns slightly yellowish-green when ripe. When ready to eat the fruit is very soft to the touch, and begins to break down quickly. The white flesh is custard-like and sweet; the juicy, segmented pulp contains large black seeds. The aroma has been likened to a pineapple or banana, with a uniquely acidic flavor. The shelf-life of this fruit is only a few days at room temperature.
The Guanabana is available year-round, with peak seasons from winter to late fall in various regions of the tropics.
The Guanabana is also known as the Soursop or the Graviola. It is in the genus Annona, and is related to the Sugar Apple and Cherimoya. The fruit is said to be a natural remedy against cancerous cells.
Guanabana can be used to fight against bacterial and fungal infections. It is said to be effective at lowering high blood pressure and aiding in depression, stress and nervous disorders. Tea made from the leaves of the Guanabana tree is used as a sleep aid in Trinidad. The seeds are toxic and should be removed before ingesting the pulp or before juicing.
The Guanabana is most typically used to make a sweet beverage. The fruit is ideal for processing and preservation. The pulp is pushed through a sieve or cheesecloth and the resulting juice is mixed with milk or water and sweetened. The juice can be used to make ice creams, sorbets, mousse, or custards; it also makes a nice cocktail when mixed with alcohol. The pulp can be frozen and eaten or used to create jellies, syrups or nectar.
The Guanabana is made into a carbonated beverage and commercially processed in Puerto Rico. In the West Indies, it is fermented and made into a cider-like drink. In the Philippines it is called guayabano and sold as a vacuum-concentrated juice that is dyed pink or green to make it's milky color more appealing. Various parts of the Guanabana tree have been used for centuries by medicine men and native Indians in South America to treat ailments such as heart disease, asthma, liver problems and arthritis.
The Guanabana was first written about in the 16th century, during which time it was abundant in the West Indies and the northern parts of South America. The Guanabana tree was one of the first fruit trees taken from the Americas to the Old World Tropics. Since then, it can be found in Australia, southern China, Vietnam, and the Pacific Islands. It thrives in the Dominican Republic and is one of the most popular fruits in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Colombia and northeastern Brazil. It can also be found growing in Hawaii and southern Florida. In 1951 a Professor in Puerto Rico who was encouraging the development of the Guanabana told a professor of agriculture in the United States that he wanted to adopt a different name for the fruit in the US. He didn’t think the name soursop was very appealing and was concerned Guanabana was too difficult to pronounce. To this day, a better name has not been found.
Recipes that include Guanabana. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Mari's Cakes||Guanabana Cake|
|Marcus Samuelsson||Seven Second Soursop Pop|
|Best Of Filipino Food Recipes||Guayabano Jam|
|Yummy Confinement Food||Soursop and Chicken Soup|
|Cook Like a Jamaican||Soursop Juice|
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