Taste of Soursop


The fruit with prickles stocked in large quantities in the cart caught my attention. Though it is the season of  jack fruit, the fruit in offering looked a distant cousin of the same.

A close look spoke a different story all together. And the fruit vendor insisted that I buy one. To my ignorance, he added a chapter on the significance of the fruit, locally (Kerala)  referred to as ‘attichakka’, and “it is a healthy fruit for cancer patients.” As the Malayalam (language) name goes, the fruit is in fact a variety of jack fruit.

With a thick crust and custard apple like inner formation of white creamy edible pulp surrounding seeds, the fruit left a mixed taste of a tangy and citric custard apple.   Of course, the fruit did not fancy my palate, but my inquisitiveness led me to search. My quest landed me on Google, and with the information in hand I clicked the name ‘guyabano’. A further search led me to its English name ‘soursop’, called so because of its sour or rather acidic taste. In fact, its names were endless.

A native of South and Central America, the Caribbean and the Saharan parts of the African nations, soursop’s adaptability to the tropical climate has brought the fruit to the Southest Asian countries as well.

As a rich source of carbohydrates,  vitamins (mainly C & B) along with minerals such as potassium and dietary fibres, the fruit has become a staple with ailing patients. According to a well researched site , a research conducted in 1976 found a chemical in guyabano or soursop that is “10,000 times more powerful and potent than a drug used for chemotherapy called Adriamycin.”

To quote another site, “soursop consists of annonaceous acetogenins, which might stop the development of damaged cells just before they could become cancerous. {Also} soursop has demonstrated specific guarantee in eliminating cancer of the breast.”

Researches have also found its significance in various other treatments that include  regulating blood sugar, controlling hypertension, preventing anemia, and relieving pain and inflammation.

A fruit is a fruit anyway. Little wonder, the commercial market has utilised soursop to flavour candies, make drinks, and other  sweetmeat. Someday I hope to taste its other delicacies!

Going back to the fruit vendor’s information, the fruit comes to the market and gets sold out fastest, especially with the Regional Cancer Centre working in full swing and the families of patients taking good care of them. I looked at the humble fruit that hardly spoke but works wonders, definitely.

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