A couple of years ago I visited my mom in Flushing and suggested that we go grocery shopping. Grocery shopping in Flushing is a real treat for me; not only because I love supermarkets (and the only places close to my apartment in Bushwick are small and kind of ghetto), but also because the Korean markets in Flushing give me a chance to stock up on Korean cooking essentials for when I need a fix. Also, the quality of their produce is far superior to that in Bushwick, but without Manhattan prices.
In the fruit section we stumbled upon a strange-looking specimen. A cherimoya!
Neither my mom nor I recognized the scaly, almost stained glass-textured fruit. New things like this are endlessly fascinating for my botany-loving mom. At any rate, I impulsively bagged up two of them; one for each of us to try. My mom asked a nearby grocer how to eat one. He scratched his head and humbly replied that he wasn’t familiar with them. He expressed surprise at our blindly buying this fruit, and my mom gave a sort of “Whatever, anything goes!” shrug and laugh.
At checkout the cashier had trouble finding the produce code to ring up our cherimoyas. She asked us what they are and my mom jumped at the opportunity to say, “[We’re not sure. We haven’t eaten them before.]” (I had seen the fruits under a hand-written sign that said Cherimoya, but I wasn’t sure if the spelling or nomenclature was correct so I stayed quiet.) The cashier then asked why we were buying them. The words joyously sprang from my mom’s mouth. “[I don’t know!]”
That cherimoya purchase seemed to be the most spontaneous, wacky event of my mom’s life, which made the actual tasting of the fruit to be kind if anticlimactic. (After we’d eaten them a few days later we agreed over the phone that they’re not that great. Kind of custardy and tropical sweet. The flavor’s similar to a banana, and the texture inside is like that of a soft, white, seedless kiwi. )