I blame the names because despite not looking or tasting the same, it took a long time for me stop confusing soursop and sweetsop and I love them both.
While the sweetsop is about the size of an orange, the soursop is large – about 6-10 inches long — and can weigh up to 12 pounds. Both have names that end in ‘sop’ and green skin but that’s where the similarity ends. The soursop has small spikes covering its entire surface and its milky pulp tastes like a cross between a pineapple and a banana.
A native of the Caribbean, Central and South America where it is known as guanábana, the soursop is packed with several vitamins, including C and B6, thiamine, riboflavin, protein, carbohydrates and trace minerals.
Mixed with condensed milk or freshly squeezed lime juice, the pulp of the fruit can be made into delicious juices. The condensed milk makes it thick, like a smoothie, lime juice gives it a light consistency which is perfect especially on days when the temperature soars to 90 degrees and beyond. (When I’m in New York and get a taste for soursop juice, I mix pineapple juice with condensed milk.) Soursop also makes ice cream, sorbet and smoothies
The leaf, fruit, seeds and stem can be used to heal infections and there’s anecdotal evidence that a tea made from the leaves, stem or bark is an effective cancer fighter. Soursop is also credited with lowering blood pressure.
Soursop doesn’t travel well so the fruit is not usually exported. However, you can find the juice in supermarkets that sell ethnic foods.
- 1 large soursop
- 1 can condensed milk (or, for a lighter drink, use the juice of 10-12 limes, to taste)
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring
- 3 cups of water
- ½ cup of ice
- Wash the fruit to remove dirt or foreign matter. Remove the skin by hand and place the fruit in a large mixing bowl.
- Add water then squeeze the fruit to remove the seeds.
- Pour the fruit and water mixture into a blender with the ice and vanilla. Puree the mixture.
- Remove the pureed juice from the blender and sweeten to taste. Pour into a glass then sprinkle grated nutmeg and serve.
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