Sunday, May 3, 2009

Soursop, the exotic fruit

I begin to like soursop juice when I was introduced to Juiz Sirsak in Jambi, Indonesia, when I was there as an expatriate planter from 2004 -2007. Then I was transferred to Medan in 2008. To me the soursop juice tasted good the 1st time I drank it pure without ice. Of course, my Indonesian friends prefer to drink it with sugar with ice.

Then I started buying the fruit every now and then from the supermarket and blending my own soursop juice. I could not finish all and I kept the balance in the refrigerator. I also liked to eat it raw. Soursop fruit is heart-shaped with a rough green skin with soft fleshy spines. When it is eaten fresh it has a creamy, sweet flavor similar to that of durian and its relative, the custard apple. Wow! The flesh, separated into segments containing 50 - 100 indigestible black seeds, is very juicy and slightly acid, and produces a rich creamy juice which is very refreshing. The seeds are quite a nuisance when trying to separate them from the flesh.

In Indonesia, soursop is called 'Sirsak' which is derived from the Dutch 'zuur zak' meaning sour sack. Soursop is also common ingredient for making fresh fruit juices that are sold at most of street food vendors and restaurants or Rumah Makan. Then I remember back home in Malaysia soursop is known as ‘Ang Mo Liulian’ in Hokkien and ‘Durian Belanda’ in Malay. But in the past, somehow we seldom like to eat soursop fruit; or rather it is being ignored and disliked by most of us. In Thailand, it is called ‘Thu-rian-khaek’ and in Philippines, it is called ‘Guayabano’ in Tagalog.

It seems that now soursop juice is a popular beverage throughout Southeast Asia and is available canned or bottled. Throughout much of Central and South America, soursop is processed into excellent ice creams, sherbets and beverages. In these countries, sweet varieties of the fruit are often eaten raw, and used for dessert.

Now you know that soursop is a very exotic fruit, I bet you will like to taste it. Nutritionally, the fruit is high in carbohydrates, particularly fructose. The fruit also contains significant amounts of vitamins C, B1, and B2. Accordingly, the fruit, seeds, and leaves have a number of herbal medicinal uses among indigenous peoples of regions where the plant is common.


KP LOH said...

I couldn't find soursop fruits in local fruit stalls when I came back to Segamat. One day I went to the Monday "Pasar Malam" in Segamat Baru and the fruit seller told me that not many local people want to buy soursop fruits. Apparently, most soursop fruits are exported to Singapore for higher price.

Yesterday, I went to a fruit satll in Buloh Kasap to buy "Segamat or Kasap Merah" durians. I happened to see 3 soursop fruits but 2 of them too over-riping and already partially rotten. I bought the good one and paid RM3.00/kg. My wife was so delighted when I brought back the fruit to the house. We hvae missed the fruit for many months.

Tracy Durst said...

Hi, my name is Tracy and I live in the U.S. i would like to know where I can purchase soursop fruit. Can you help? Thanks!

Jair-Rohm Parker Wells said...

Where can I get soursop in Thailand now?