It's last call for cherimoyas; the creamy, sweet fruit with a rugged-looking exterior that can be found at the farmers market on Central Avenue every Thursday. The open air market at the Constituent Services Center goes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and hosts an array of exotic and tropical fruits -- including cherimoyas.
This lumpy fruit look like the rugged offspring of a mango, a pear and an artichoke, but the inside of a ripe one resembles sherbert and has only a few seeds. Cherimoyas have tough, green exteriors and although they are now commercially produced in California, their origins are in South and Central America.
Serious Eats reports that the fruit is at its most ripe March through May, and suggests buying a cherimoya that's slightly under-ripened. Then store the fruit out of direct sunlight until it feels like a ripe avocado; wait one more day, then have at it.
Cherimoyas are naturally sweet and often used in cooking and baking -- for everything from sorbets and tarts, to salsas and salads. The fruit tastes like a whirlwind of other fruits; coconut mixed with pear and berries. Multiple foodie websites rave about the flavor of cherimoyas and second Mark Twain's description of it as "the most delicious fruit known to men."
But cherimoyas have multiple health benefits as well, including being high in antioxidants. The fruit provides about 50 percent of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C -- as well as being high in potassium and low in sodium, which can help regulate blood pressure, according to Livestrong.
The farmers market at the Central Avenue Constituent Services Center attracts farmers from cities as far as Bakersfield, Riverside and San Diego. Laura Gonzales, who runs the weekly market, said there was only six farmers who sold goods at the event and they all have to be certified by the Department of Agriculture.
"The food options in South L.A. – there's not a lot of selection," Gonzales told OnCentral's Jose Martinez. "We only have Fresh & Easy on Adams, and that's pretty much it in terms of good stores. It's a food desert here."