Rollinia: The Vibrant Fruit That Tastes Like Sweet Lemon Meringue Pie

Rollinia fruits on a plate
Rollinia fruits on a plate - Guentermanaus/Shutterstock

Do you enjoy trying new foods and ingredients? If that's the case, you should definitely get your hands on the rollinia fruit. Also known as the Amazon custard apple, it tastes similar to sweet lemon meringue pie. It's soft and creamy, with a pudding-like consistency and spiky skin. The fruit grows in South America, Australia, Hawaii, and other regions with warm climates, but you can also buy it online.

Rollinia has different names in different countries, and it's usually found at farmers' markets and health stores. For example, Brazilians call it "araticum pitaya," but if you go to Mexico, you'll find it under the name "anona barbosa" or "zambo." And yes, this is one of those exotic fruits worth traveling for. Its sweet-tart flavor is similar to that of cherimoya, with hints of citrus, banana, and coconut. "It's got a lot of wow factor," tropical fruit farmer Peter Salleras told Delicious.

Read more: 12 Vegetables And Fruits That Used To Look Very Different

What Does Rollinia Look And Taste Like?

Unripe rollinia fruit on tree branch
Unripe rollinia fruit on tree branch - Guentermanaus/Shutterstock

This tropical fruit belongs to the Annonaceae family, which also includes soursop, araticum, and custard apples. What sets it apart is its vibrant yellow skin and distinct flavor. It has soft, cone-shaped protrusions on the outside and a jelly-like texture on the inside, containing small black seeds. As the fruit matures, its spikes turn black and its color becomes more intense.

The flesh of ripe rollinia has a fragrant, almost floral aroma with citrusy notes. It tastes like peach cobbler, meringue pie, or a combination of banana and custard apple. "Some cultures don't like them because they're not sweet enough," explained ABC News. "But a lot of Aussies find the normal custard apple too sweet, so generally people who don't like normal custard apples really like this one."

Depending on your preferences, you can enjoy the fruit as is or use it in baked goods, puddings, and other desserts. Simply cut it in half, scoop out its flesh, and remove the seeds. After that, eat it with a tablespoon or incorporate it into your recipes. It can be a wonderful addition to smoothies, pies, cheesecakes, muffins, sweet bread, or fruit tarts.

Rollinia Packs An Antioxidant Punch

Fruit pie with rollinia and ice cream scoop on top
Fruit pie with rollinia and ice cream scoop on top - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

The Amazon custard apple is just as healthy as it is delicious. A 3.5-ounce serving has only 80 calories and over 30 milligrams of vitamin C, plus large doses of calcium, phosphorus, and iron. Due to its antioxidant activity, vitamin C may protect against heart disease and some types of cancer. It also supports collagen production and helps your body metabolize protein.

Like other fruits in the Annonaceae family, rollinia contains bioactive compounds with antioxidant and antimicrobial effects. It's a good source of beta-pinene, coumaric acid, ferulic acid, myrcene, and beta-caryophyllene, according to a 2021 review published in Food Research International. These nutrients may help prevent liver, kidney, lung, breast, and prostate tumors and kill pathogens like Candida albicans and Salmonella.

But, as mentioned earlier, rollinia isn't widely available in stores. Your best bet is to find an online supplier and pre-order the fruit. After that, you can refrigerate it for up to five days, depending on its ripeness. If it's fully ripe, store it in the fridge and consume it within two days. Once you've cut the fruit, eat it the same day because its flesh oxidizes quickly. Consider using it in a fruit salad or mixing it with coconut milk, vanilla extract, and other basic ingredients for a light, homemade ice cream.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.