Cherimoya and Soursop are two different tropical fruits that belong to the same family called Annonaceae. The flavor, texture, and appearance of these fruits are slightly different from one another. Further, Cherimoya is a smaller fruit than Soursop and it does not have a spiny dark green outer layer like Soursop. Therefore, Cherimoya is not the same as Soursop.
Here let’s talk about what are the similarities and dissimilarities of Cherimoya and Soursop.
Cherimoya (Annona cherimola) is native to Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. Currently, it can be found in tropical areas with high altitudes such as Mexico and many other countries in Central and South America. It is a heart-shaped edible fruit that has a smooth, scaly, and green outer layer. It does not have spines in the outer skin. The outer layer of fruit has knobby warts.
The ripe flesh of cherimoya fruit is smooth and has a white color. Because of the creamy texture of the flesh, it is also known as custard apple. When ripe, the skin of cherimoya fruit turns into light green. It can be eaten as raw fruit by a spoon or can be served like custard. The taste of Cherimoya is almost the same as the mixed taste of banana and pineapple. Further, it is commonly used to prepare ice cream and yogurt in Peru and Chile countries. Because of that reason, it is also called as ice cream fruit.
Cherimoya flesh contains inedible hard black seeds. The size of the seeds is between 1 cm to 2 cm. Seeds are surrounded by carpels and hence do not detach easily. If it is crushed and open, these seeds are poisonous to humans. Cherimoya fruit is rich in proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Especially, thiamine (Vitamin B1), calcium, iron, and phosphorus are rich in this fruit. Cherimoya can increase the immunity of human being and it also helps to improve eye and heart health.
Cherimoya trees are cultivated in a very specific climate range. It cannot survive in extreme heat or extremely cold climates. The ideal temperature range for the tree is in between 33oC and 48oC in summer and 0oC and 23oC in winter. Further, the high wind causes a reduction in the pollination process of cherimoya. Usually, Cherimoya trees are propagated by seeds. Cherimoya tree is a low branched, fast-growing, evergreen tree and it can grow up to 5 to 9 meters long. The elliptic, pointed leaves grow up to 5 – 25 cm long. The flowers are pale green and grow up to 3 cm. Cherimoya flower has three greenish downy petals on the outer side and three small pinkish petals on the inner side. These flowers also have a very strong fruity odor.
These trees start to bear fruits when its’ age is in between 3.5 to 5 years. The cherimoya yield increases when the tree becomes mature. Cherimoya fruit grows around 4 inches to 8 inches long and its’ diameter is around 2 inches. The fruit has an average weight of 300 grams to 500 grams.
Soursop (Annona muricata), also called as Graviola and Guanabana, is native to Southern Mexico, Central and Sothern America. Out of family Annonaceae, the soursop is one of the largest fruit which grows well in the tropical region. It is oval-shaped and can grow up to 8 to 12 inches long averagely. The average weight of Soursop is around 4.5 Kilograms. When ripen, it turns into a yellowish-green color. The Soursop flesh is white, smooth, and creamy. It usually has a sweet flavor which is similar to mix flavor of strawberry and apple. Because of the strong sweet flavor, it is mostly used as a raw fruit.
The outer layer of soursop is inedible and has a bitter taste. This fruit can easily cut down to separate pieces when it ripe. It is because the spines and flesh of the fruit get soften when it ripe. The outer skin of unripe fruit has a rough texture and dark green appearance. When the fruit is fully ripening, the outer layer turns yellowish-green. There are hundreds of snow white-colored flesh in this fruit and those are closely packed.
There is an oval shape, hard and black color seed in every flesh. It is about 1-2 cm long. Some flesh does not contain seeds. Generally, more than 200 seeds are there in the soursop fruit. It typically has low calories and rich in other nutrients such as fiber, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), thiamine (Vitamin B1), iron, magnesium, and potassium.
Soursop trees are low branching and bushy. Due to the high demand for the fruit, it is widely cultivated throughout the world. These trees grow up to around 8 meters and it has board ended oval evergreen leaves that have an average length of 12 cm. Because of the tropical origin, Soursop trees are extremely sensitive to cold temperatures. Short-term exposure to a chill climate (temperature is lower than 5 oC) can cause severe damage or kill mature and well-established soursop trees. Further, a cold climate leads to delay fruiting. In low temperatures, fruit also becomes dry. Soursop trees can be cultivated within a greenhouse in the cold weather.
The color of the soursop seed is brownish-black. Generally, the soursop plant is cultivated using the seeds and it grows well in warm climates with high humidity. Leaves, fruits, and stems of the soursop tree are used for medical purposes and it also provides health benefits to humans. It is an antioxidant that helps killing cancer cells. It can fight with bacteria and also reduce inflammation. It also helps to maintain blood sugar at the optimum level. Each Flower stalk has one, two or three flowers. The petals of the flower are yellowish. The outer petals are thick and those petals do not overlap with one another. Inner petals are oval-shaped and overlapped. The flowers grow around 2, 3 centimeters.
Soursop TreeWhen comparing cherimoya and soursop fruits, the outer appearance and flavor of the flesh are different. Further, favorable climate conditions for both plants to grow, are also different. Thus, cherimoya is not the same as soursop.
Here is the summary.