The Soursop is adapted to areas of high humidity and relatively warm winters, temperatures below 5 °C will cause damage to leaves and small branches, and temperatures below 3 °C can be fatal.
Comparisons of its flavor range from strawberry and pineapple mixed together to sour citrus flavour notes contrasting with an underlying creamy roundness of flavor reminiscent of coconut or banana. The fruit is somewhat difficult to eat, as the white interior pulp is studded with many large seeds, and pockets of soft flesh are bounded by fibrous membranes. The soursop is therefore usually juiced rather than eaten directly.
Nutritionally, the fruit is high in carbohydrates, particularly fructose. The fruit also contains significant amounts of vitamin C, vitamin B1, and vitamin B2. The fruit, seeds, and leaves have a number of herbal medicinal uses among indigenous peoples of regions where the plant is common.
In Saigon, soursops (mãng cầu xiêm) are primarily used for making smoothies (sinh to) because they are too big to be eaten in one sitting and contain stubborn seeds that can be difficult to remove. In fact, I had a soursop smoothie before tasting an actual soursop.
All this changed a couple of weeks ago when The Astronomer and I purchased a whole soursop for 23,000 VND in Binh Thanh District. Since it was quite ripe, I carried it like a baby on the motorbike to make sure it didn’t bruise.
After refrigerating it overnight, we dug in the following afternoon. The soursop’s peel was a cinch to get off and didn’t even require a knife. I cut the fruit into chunks, which did require a knife. True to its name, the soursop is indeed sour, it’s also unbelievably juicy and a smidgen fibrous.
It took us five whole days to eat the entire thing and I found that with each progressive day, the soursop grew sweeter. When I first ate the fruit, my mouth felt a little raw due to its acidity, but that totally subsided by day three. Cool beans.