Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mystery Solved - It's a Bird...It's a Plane....It's an ?????????????

Yesterday, I went shopping in Fortaleza's central food market, called Mercado São Sebastião. I took some photos, and a also shot a couple of short videos - I hope to have those in the blog early next week. In the meantime, here's a little mystery about a exotic fruit called the "ata."

When I was walking through the aisles of fruit and vegetable vendors, I noticed a fruit for sale that I hadn't seen before in Fortaleza. It looked familiar, but it wasn't quite right. I asked a vendor what the name was, and he replied ata. It looked like this:
 
 
I was intrigued, because it reminded me of a fruit I had known from Mexico and Guatemala called cherimoya, but somehow it was different. Since I didn't have a cherimoya in front of me to compare, I couldn't recall what was different, but I knew something was wrong. So, naturally, I bought a couple - first, to taste and sample, and second, to try to identify correctly for this blog.

A little internet research was all it took to identify this unknown fruit. I first checked Google images for photos of cherimoyas to make sure it wasn't a cherimoya. Here's a sample cherimoya photo:




It clearly wasn't a cherimoya, thourgh there did seem to be some sort of family resemblance. I decided next to check the internet for this mystery fruit under the name the vendor had given me - ata. Searching the English web revealed nothing, nor did searching ata in the Portuguese Wikipedia. I looked for ata on the Brazilian site Toda Fruta, which has a list of all cultivated fruits in Brazil - nothing there. Then I limited my search to Brazilian and Portuguese language sites and found something. On the Brazilian equivalent of "Yahoo answers" I found this question: "Ata, Fruta-do-Conde, Nona - which is the correct name for this fruit?" Someone answered that all three names refer to the same fruit, but each is used in a different partsof Brazil. Fruta-do-conde is used in the south of Brazil, ata in the Northeast (where I live), and in Sao Paulo, they call the fruit pinha.

For the solution to the mystery, click on "read more" below...




Armed with some new search terms, fruta-do-conde and pinha, I went back to the internet. And I finally found the answer (almost). A search on Portuguese Wikipedia for pinha led me to an entry for fruta-pinha. That entry included this lovely botanical print, which certainly looked like the ata I had purchased at the market.


I learned from this entry that fruta-pinha and fruta-do-conde are not the same fruit, although they're very close. The botanical name for fruta-pinha is "annona squamosa" and that for fruta-do-conde is "annona coriacea." Incidentally, by checking the botanical name "annona squamosa" in the English language wikipedia, I discovered that the nomenclature for this fruit is equally complicated in English. It's known variously in the Caribbean and Central America as "sugar-apple", "sweetsop", and "custard-apple."

It was only when I went to the entry for "annona coriacea" that I finally was able to identify what my ata really was, however. On that page, there's a photo of an "annona coriacea" and an "annona squamosa" side by side. The "annona squamosa" is on the right. That's my ata!

So, an ata and a fruta-pinha are the same thing, and they are called "sugar-apple", "sweetsop" etc. in English. Fruta-do-conde is a close relative, but not identical.

Mystery solved.


In a future post, I'll try to critique the taste and flavor of this fruit. Stay tuned...




8 comments:

  1. Thank you very much for sharing. I've been looking for more info on the ata, which is one of my most favorite Brazilian fruits. There's a serious lack of info on the net. I plunked down $6 for a cherimoya in Dallas yesterday. It has fewer seeds and more flesh than the ata. Both are very tasty.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bạn muốn sử dụng dịch vụ giao hàng thu tiền hộ. Bạn là chủ kinh doanh cần nơi nhận giao hàng cho shop online. Bạn muốn biết bảng giá giao hàng nhanh để chuyển hàng đi đà nẵng hoặc là giá chuyển hàng đi hà nội. Hãy liên hệ chúng tôi, đảm bảo bạn sẽ hài lòng khi sử dụng dịch vụ của chúng tôi.

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  3. Kênh thông tin mua bán nhà đất tại Việt Nam , nếu bạn muốn mua hay bán nhà đất thì chỉ cần vào đây , chúng tôi sẽ cho mọi người biết về tin của bạn, nhà đất tphcm, nhà đất gò vấp, nhà đất thủ đức, nhà đất tân phú, nhà đất quận 9 . Còn chần chờ gì nữa , hãy đăng tin mua bán nhà đất nhanh nhanh . Bạn đang phân vân không biết phải chúc đám cưới bạn mình như thế nào thì bạn có thể tham khảo lời chúc đám cưới, in thiep cuoi, lời chúc đám cưới hay o day .

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  4. The name of that fruit in the south or southeast part of Brazil I'd fruta-do-conde. In the Northeast of Brazil it is Pinha. Fruta do conde, took its name because in Brazilian monarch era, the Conde loved that fruit but no one seamed to know how it was called... so everyone started calling it The Fruit that the Conde liked... why is called Pinha in the northern part, I have no idea. My all time favority, and her cousin sour sop, delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  5. The name of that fruit in the south or southeast part of Brazil I'd fruta-do-conde. In the Northeast of Brazil it is Pinha. Fruta do conde, took its name because in Brazilian monarch era, the Conde loved that fruit but no one seamed to know how it was called... so everyone started calling it The Fruit that the Conde liked... why is called Pinha in the northern part, I have no idea. My all time favority, and her cousin sour sop, delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  6. The name of that fruit in the south or southeast part of Brazil Is fruta-do-conde. In the Northeast of Brazil it is Pinha. Fruta do conde, took its name because in Brazilian monarch era, the Conde loved that fruit but no one seamed to know how it was called... so everyone started calling it The Fruit that the Conde liked... why is called Pinha in the northern part, I have no idea. My all time favority, and her cousin sour sop, delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Chúng tôi cung cấp dịch vụ bốc xếp hàng hóa
    – Bốc xếp vật dụng phục vụ việc chuyển nhà, văn phòng
    – Bốc xếp hàng hóa tại kho, cảng, bến bãi
    – Bốc xếp hàng hóa phục vụ cho việc lắp đặt thiết bị

    CÔNG TY TNHH TM DV LAI TRẦN
    Add: 77/44 Bờ Bao Tân Thắng, P. Sơn Kỳ, Quận Tân Phú, TPHCM

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