This is not the first time I have been presented with a cherimoya time bomb as a gift. My coffee manager has also given me lovely cherimoyas in the past, all that must be eaten right away.
Cherimoyas used to be a popular tree on coffee plantations and this gave Boquete a legendary reputation for them. They taste of heaven, somewhat like custard, pineapples and cream and look a bit like an artichoke. Any one who is anyone in Boquete seems to be able to obtain them and eat them at will. But for me, a Gringa and relative newcomer, the cherimoya is almost a myth and when I get one I have a 3 hour window or less in which to consume it.
They are not sold very often. When they are in the market, they are usually behind the counter waiting for 'a friend'. A couple of months ago I sowed all the seed from one of my gifts, so I can grow them for myself. I do have a tree, but it is an old one and the fruit is not that large or good. It seems this is the problem with most of the trees left, there have not been too many new trees planted in the last ten or so years and not much stock left still producing good fruit.
Well, this morning I advanced my understanding of the cherimoya supply chain and how things work around here. It turns out this particular cherimoya came from a farm in Palmira Arriba. The farm is owned by a Gringo called Mxxxxxx. Mxxxxx does not know, has never tried, or is not very fond of the fruit, and travels a lot, so it is entirely possible he may never have seen his tree with fruit on it.
One way or another, his workers have laid claim to the fruit and get to divvy up the tree. The tree was groaning with fruit about a week ago, too much for their families alone. One of Mxxxxx workers is friendly with my maid. When he realized he could not eat all the fruit before it turned, he gave some to his friends. My maid is married but does not have a family, only so many cherimoya the two of them can eat in a couple of days. When it becomes apparent that they will not manage to eat them all before they turn, she brings one to me. By this time the cherimoya only has 3 hours of life expectancy left.
Well, I ate the cherimoya for breakfast, it was delicious. It seems the shorter the life expectancy of your cherimoya the lower down the cherimoya totem pole you are ..........Oh well, I am content for now, just glad to be on the totem pole at all and dreaming of my new trees.