If you have been travelling to the Caribbean or South America, you may have come across the term guanabana and wondered what it is. It is actually a spiny fruit that has a very delicious custard like pulp that is sweet and slightly citrus-like. A curious cross between strawberry banana wit a hint of lemon lime.
Locals in Jamaica and as well as those in Spanish-speaking islands and nations call it guanabana, but it is also known as soursop, and is sometimes spelled sour sop. You may also see or hear a reference to graviola, though typically this is used as word for the tree the guanabana (or soursop) fruit grows on. Learn more about guanabana here.
Guanabana is a famous ingredient for sweet tropical drinks or to flavor ice cream. The graviola tree leaves are also used to make soursop tea. It tastes like green tea with a hint of vanilla and it is very calming and soothing.
Curiously, the plant and fruit is famous for its health giving properties. It has a reputation as a cancer fighter, and has some scientific backing on this point. It is great for treating insomnia. Has an antibacterial quality. Fights dysentery. And can soothe skin eruptions. There are many more health benefits.
It is also delicious. Mark Twain once quipped at that cherimoya, a very similar fruit in the same family, is “deliciousness itself”. And he is right. While the outside skin is inedible and the 3/4 inch black and brown seeds inside are somewhat toxic, the flesh is incredibly exotic, sweet, and wonderful.
Here are some handy guanabana recipes – or soursop recipes if you prefer:
- Soursop ice cream
- Soursop Smoothie
- Soursop juice
- Guanabana milkshake
- Soursop ice pop
- And finally, if you want an OHMIGAWD recipe that uses guanabana try this: wild blueberry and guanabana bavarian cream layer cake