January 14, 2005

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Jewel of the Incas Periodically I work at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market. Although the work can be at times physically demanding I like talking to San Franciscans about what they are cooking or offer simple preparation tips. This weekend I was a "helper" to the "avocado man"--as the customers call him. The avocado season has yielded a large crop this year so the season more or less didn't come to an end. In addition to Gwen avocados Brokaw offered Bearss limes, Eureka lemons, Valencia oranges, guavas and cherimoyas. Based on the reactions of serious cherimoya lovers at the market--including one 30-ish looking woman who literally jumped up and down as she recounted a year of feasting on cherimoyas in Chile--I had to see what the I had been missing out on. The fruit won't win any beauty contests. The heart-shaped fruit is wrapped in a skin that looks a bit reptilian. Close cousins in this fruit family include U.S. native fruit paw paw; soursop from West Indies; sweetsop (sugar apple) from Latin America and a hybrid of the cherimoya and the sweetsop called atemoya. The name cherimoya translates in the Incan language as "cold breast." Grown around the world the fruit is native to the Andes region particularly Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. The Incans enjoyed this fruit so much they called it the "fruit of the gods." Cherimoyas began cultivation in the area between San Francisco to Santa Barbara when "avocado root rot" attacked local groves and an alternative crop was...

jeannebee

what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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