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How To Tell If A Cherimoya Is Ripe

Cherimoya, an exotic fruit native to the Andes mountains in South America, is famed for its refreshing, custard-like texture and sweet flavor.

But the real question is in deciphering when it’s at its peak of ripeness. This guide will walk you through identifying the perfect moment to indulge in this ‘custard apple’.

A ripe cherimoya cut in half on a counter.

A ripe cherimoya exhibits a pale green, slightly yellowish skin and yields to light pressure when gently squeezed. Don’t confuse its brown sugar spots with rot; they’re natural and indicate high sweetness.

How To Tell If A Cherimoya Is Ripe


A ripe cherimoya typically has pale green skin that’s starting to turn slightly yellowish. It’s essential not to confuse a cherimoya’s brown spots, which naturally occur, with rot.

These spots are perfectly normal, as they’re a result of sugar spots where the fruit is exceptionally sweet.


Gently pressing the cherimoya can also give you clues about its ripeness. A ripe fruit will yield to light pressure, much like a ripe avocado. However, if it feels too soft or mushy, it may be overripe.


A ripe cherimoya offers a flavor that is often described as a mix of banana, pineapple, and strawberry with a hint of tartness.

If it tastes tangy, the fruit is probably underripe. If the taste is overly sweet and verging on fermented, the cherimoya is likely overripe.

When checking the ripeness of exotic fruits like cherimoya, it’s crucial to understand their specific cues, much like the distinctive signs you’d look for when determining if jackfruit is ripe, which you can learn more about in our detailed guide.

StagePhysical AppearanceFeelTaste
UnripeBright Green, Firm SkinHardTart, less sweet
RipePale Green, slightly YellowishYields to light pressureSweet, custard-like
OverripeYellow-Brown, Soft SkinVery soft, almost mushyFermented, overly sweet

Now that you know how to tell if cherimoya is ripe, you might also want to learn how to tell if bananas are ripe or how to tell if a pineapple is ripe.

How To Ripen Cherimoya At Home

If you’ve bought an unripe cherimoya, don’t worry! You can ripen the fruit at home using the following methods:

  1. Leave it at Room Temperature: Place the cherimoya in a bowl and let it sit at room temperature until it ripens. This process could take a few days.
  2. Use a Paper Bag: If you want to speed up the process, place the fruit in a paper bag with a banana. The ethylene gas released by the banana will expedite the ripening process.

How To Eat Cherimoya

Eating a cherimoya is quite simple and straightforward:

  1. Wash the Fruit: First, rinse the cherimoya under running water to clean off any dirt or residues.
  2. Cut the Fruit: Using a sharp knife, cut the cherimoya in half, vertically from the stem end. It should cut easily if the fruit is ripe.
  3. Remove the Seeds: Open up the cherimoya and you’ll find several black seeds inside. Use a spoon to scoop them out as they are not edible.
  4. Scoop and Eat: Once the seeds are removed, you can use a spoon to scoop out the creamy, custard-like flesh of the cherimoya and enjoy! It’s like its own natural bowl of pudding.

Remember, only the flesh of the cherimoya is edible. The skin and seeds should be discarded as they can be toxic if consumed in large quantities.

How To Store Cherimoya

Cherimoya, once ripe, should be consumed as soon as possible to enjoy its delightful taste and texture. But if you need to store it:

  • At Room Temperature: A ripe cherimoya can be stored at room temperature for 1-2 days.
  • In the Refrigerator: If you can’t consume it immediately, place it in the fridge. It will last for up to a week, but remember to let it reach room temperature before eating for the best flavor.

For more detailed information on the storage and nutritional value of cherimoya, visit the USDA’s website.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Tell If A Cherimoya Is Ripe

The ripening process for a cherimoya varies depending on its initial maturity and the conditions in which it’s stored, but generally, it can take anywhere from a few days to a week to ripen at room temperature.

No, a ripe cherimoya should not be hard; it should yield slightly to gentle pressure, similar to a ripe avocado. If your cherimoya is hard, it’s likely underripe and needs more time to mature.

Your cherimoya might taste bitter if it’s underripe or overripe. Allow the fruit to ripen properly for optimal sweetness, and be sure not to eat the skin or seeds, which can also be bitter.


Determining the ripeness of a cherimoya can seem like a daunting task due to its exotic nature. But with the guidelines we’ve discussed, you’ll master the art in no time.

Remember, a cherimoya’s taste is best savored when it’s just right – not too hard and not too soft. So keep an eye on the color, give it a gentle press, and get ready to enjoy this delectable fruit!

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