The tree grows up to 20 feet (6 metres) tall, and the same in spread. It is a hybrid between Custard Apples (aka cherimoya) and sugar apples.
The seeds produced by the tree are sterile, it is reproduced by grafting.
The fruit is ready to harvest about 5 months after the blossoms appear, and the tree tends to drop its leaves after it has born fruit.
The fruit can be round or oval. It will be 3 to 5 inches (7.5 to 13 cm) long, and weigh from 8 to 16 oz (225 to 450g.) The skin can be smooth or lumpy, and light green or yellowish green (there are different cultivars.)
The flesh inside is creamy-white in colour, with the texture of custard. There will be 30 or more dark seeds 3/4 inch (2 cm) long and 1/4 inch (65 mm) wide.
The flesh is sweet and tastes a bit like vanilla.
Cultivars include African Pride (aka Kaller), Gefner, Island Beauty, Page, and Pinks Mammoth (aka Pink’s Prolific.)
Choose Atemoya fruit that is free of bruises. The softer it is, the riper it is.
The flesh is good chilled. You cut the fruit in half, and eat the pulp out with a spoon.
The seeds are toxic; discard them.
Fully ripened fruit can be stored up to 5 days in refrigerator.
The cross was first done in 1908 United States Department of Agriculture’s subtropical laboratory in Miami, Florida, by a man named P.J. Wester
Atemoya is sometimes called “Custard Apple”, but that’s actually cherimoya fruit.
The name “Atemoya” is an invented name. “Ate” is a Mexican name for sugar apple; “moya” comes from cherimoya. P.J. Wester had plumped for the name “cuatemoya.”