Cherimoya, the Best Kept Secret!

By Creative Concepts NYC‘s Executive Chef, Miguel Ureggo

My first experience with Cherimoya was when I was in Ecuador visiting a good friend for his wedding, congratulations Diego and Jaclyn!  As we toured throughout the countryside we stopped by a stand on a dirt road where local farmers and villagers were selling the delicious fruit. Our friends insisted that we try the Cherimoya and bring some for the road.

Cherimoya is a tropical fruit also known by the native people as, “chirimoya”.  The delicious fruit is known to originate from the Andes of South America and is grown naturally in Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia and Peru. It is now harvested through Central America, California, and the Eastern Hemisphere. 

At first, I was a bit hesitant to try the fruit due to the odd rough green appearance. It has a greenish hard cover skin which is not edible, it resembles a fresh artichoke. It seemed like the fruit was unripe and not ready to eat.  The treasure of the fruit is in the inside (when ripened properly) which has a sorbet like texture. Once we split it in half and I took the first bite, I was blown out of this world!! The tasty fruit is known to be a ‘custard fruit’ to locals because of the creamy, fresh and sweet flavors. The flavor is a combination of banana, pear, white peach and strawberry. The fruit is absolutely out of this world, It’s one of the best tasting I’ve ever had in my lifetime!!! Once you have one bite, you won’t want to stop eating the delicious fruit!

 

Creative Concepts NYC’s Tropical Inspirations:

Within the principals at CCNYC are many threads of common inspiration. In hopes of lifting spirits during the cold season it only seems appropriate to share some of our favorite tropical dishes.

Julie Sommers, Director of Catering:

Julie’s favorite tropical dish are fish tacos because it brings her back to one of her first visits to Mexico. Playa del Carmen is where she recalls an amazing taco stand on 5th Avenue, “I’ll never forget that flavor of the first bite years ago! Fish tacos are now a staple and tradition in my kitchen and it’s all about the crispy batter.”

 Fish Taco

w/ Crispy Battered Tilapia, Citrus and Cilantro Cabbage Slaw, Spicy Chipotle Aioli, Small Homemade Corn Tortillas, and Fresh Avocado

 

Miguel Urrego, Executive Chef:

Miguel chose ceviche because it reflects the essence of Latin cuisine. Miguel states that, “Ceviche is a dish that is fresh, light and appealing to my palette. It’s a staple dish served throughout central, south, and the Caribbean region. There are many variations in making ceviche depending on the country, island and/or culture, but the primary ingredient is citrus.”

 Tropical Seafood Ceviche

w/ Gulf Shrimp, Baby Octopus, Manila Clams, Red Snapper, Fresh Papaya, Pineapple, Mango, Coconut Milk, Lemon Grass, Ginger, Fresh Lime Juice and Cilantro

 

Benjamin Lester, Creative Director:

Benjamin discovered this dish while vacationing in Puerto Rico. He recalls, “I was sitting at the bar in the restaurant Santaella, located in the LaPlacita neighborhood in San Juan PR. I was taking in the amazing atmosphere and to my surprise out came White tartare! Buttery and delicious, the asian style sauce complemented the tropical twist on the classic dish. The presentation was stacked and flawless. The dish was so amazing that I ordered it twice!”” The dish was made by Chef José Santaella.

 White Tartare

 w/ White Tuna & Fresh Avocado in Homemade Sesame Ponzu Sauce