Saturday, February 19, 2011


A few months ago, a new bar/restaurant opened a few blocks away from my home here in Fortaleza. It looked pleasant enough, but there really wasn't anything to distinguish it from many similar bars on other corners throughout the city and throughout Brazil. It has a few tables and chairs out on the sidewalk, and a few more inside along with a bar and a few drink coolers. I was intrigued by it's name though - Araticum. The name sounded like one of the many words in Brazilian Portuguese that are derived from native Indian languages - it didn't look like a Portuguese word. I asked a couple of my Brazilian friends here what it meant, but the word wasn't familiar to them either.

I've been walking by Araticum or driving past it regularly since it opened, but haven't given it a try yet. My curiousity about the name, though, hasn't disappeared and finally the other day I had the time and inclination to check it out in my online dictionary. And lo and behold, araticum is one more of the cornucopia of fruits that flourish in Brazil - in fact, it's one that's already been written about on Flavors of Brazil, but under a different name - an araticum is an ata (or, depending upon what part of Brazil you come from, you might know it as anona, fruta-do-conde, pinha, or cabeça-de-negro). It's scientific name is Annona sp. There's even a word for it in English, as the fruit is cultivated extensively in the Caribbean - it's called custard-apple.

Thanks to the marvel of the Internet, within minutes I went from not having any idea what an araticum was to knowing what it's alternative names in Portuguese are, what it's English name is, and even what it tastes like, as I've eaten it before. Now I just have to sample the food at Araticum - my linguistic curiousity has been satisfied, but my culinary one hasn't.


  1. I've always known them as "cherimoyas", both in English and Spanish. Delicious, btw!

  2. I discovered them last yr when I visited my dad in Puerto Rico, it was good. Thanks for the English name.

  3. I've seen them marketed as cherimoyas in USA and Canada as well, mostly because I tend to see them in Latin markets. From what I understand, in the English-speaking Caribbean they're known more as custard apples.

  4. My mom says this is Pinha pronounced (pinya) in Portuguese. She used to eat them when she lived in Northeast Brazil.

    1. Your mom is right. As I say in the article,various regions of Brazil have different names for this fruit - one of them is pinha. Another common one is fruta-do-conde. Thanks for contributing, Pinhagirl!

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