3-28-2004 - 1:41 p.m.
Stalking the Elusive Cherimoya
I was reading a Jonathan Kellerman novel the other night where one of the characters goes a little crazy (that’s a psychological term) and becomes an evil horiticulural genius after his entire Cherimoya crop is destroyed by a freaky frost
‘WTF is a cherimoya?' I think to myself and so does Dr Alex Delaware, the protagonist of all of Kellerman’s novels. I like Alex Delaware a lot; he’s a child psychologist that helps the LAPD solve crimes. He has a cool girlfriend named Robin who makes guitars. He keeps a pond full of Koi and his best friend is a moody gay cop named Milo.
Anyway, the plot thickens and Dr Alex goes on to discover that a cherimoya is “A mouthwateringly delicious, sweet, creamy, subtropical fruit, combining the exotic flavours of pineapple, papaya, passionfruit, banana, mango and lemon into one luscious delight. Mmmmmmm” Someone tells Alex that Mark Twain once described the cherimoya as ‘deliciousness itself’.
"Deliciousness itself!” Well, I have GOT to try this thing, since I am both gay and obsessive and if there is one thing I can’t resist it is something I have never tried before. Only I live in Kansas where we grow wheat, not exotic tropical fruit. Further compounding my confusion is that I am reading fiction so I don’t know if the elusive cherimoya is an actual fruit or a Kellerman plot device.
So I ask my source for all things exotic and California; Mysterious Michael, since Hawk's idea of exotic fruit is government commodity canned peaches.
Hawk is proud to be a carnivore.
M2 confirms that the cherimoya is an actual fruit and not a figment of Kellerman’s fertile imagination. Mikey then mentions that he is from Northern California, not Southern where the wild cherimoya grows and then launchs into a passionate diatribe about how Americans don’t really eat a lot of fruit and if we do we pretty much stay in the apple, orange, banana family. Yummy, but hardly exotic. Mikey mentions something about Americans and their ‘homogenized tastebuds’
I know people that don’t eat any fruit at all, and I bet you do too.
Fruit cocktail in Jello doesn’t count.
It’s one of those ‘Life is a banquet and most poor bastards are starving’ things. Look at all this stuff that’s out there that we don’t get in our markets.
Anyway, I must have a cherimoya and I want it now, damn it! I look online and it’s Cherimoya season, but they are pricey and come from a long way away. Like New Zeeland. So we head for Whole Foods Market which is as exotic as food gets in Prairie Village,Kansas on a Sunday in March .
I love the Whole Foods Market BTW, the produce is beautifully displayed and the folks that work there are beyond friendly. And there is always hot coffee and baked goods. And OMG, WFM Truffles are back in stock for Easter. OMG! They are sin in a cardboard box.
Despite the truffle score, apparently I am frowning as I stand in the produce department because a cute redheaded man come up to us and reminds us to smile and have a strawberry.The strawberry is good but we are on a quest.
Sadly he doesn’t have a cherimoya, but he’s runs into the back to consult his book and brings back another produce guy; a Latin guy with a fat moustache who pronounces the name of the fruit ‘shim-maya’ instead of rhyming it with Cherry Cola like I have been.
‘Delicious’ he says. He can have it here by Wednesday.
Meanwhile, I am forced to make due with only strawberries and truffles.