The Guana Bana, also known as Soursop, is the largest member of the custard apple family and is produced by the Graviola Tree. It is a large fruit of a small fast growing tree. Its skin is dark green or golden yellow with conical nibs all over. The white fleshy pulp is very juicy and has a lovely sweet tangy and slightly acidic taste. This fruit is best eaten fresh. However it does make a refreshing drink, and the fermented fruit can also be used to make a cider- like drink. The flesh is peppered with small black shiny seeds which are inedible.
When ripe, this exotic fruit feels slightly soft to touch and the skin is lighter green. It is a superb dessert fruit either fresh and chilled, or cooked. Seeded fruit can be cut into pieces, sprinkled with sugar with added milk or cream. It can be pureed and frozen and is delicious eaten as a sorbet. Unripened fruit can be cut up and cooked as a vegetable – a great addition to curries or soups. This fruit dries very well, and this increases the nutrient content. The Guana Bana are very high in Vitamin C.
In the Mission Beach region, the Graviola Tree is grown in a trellised fashion. This strengthens the tree against strong winds, allows better light to encourage more fruit, and makes it easier for the farmer to harvest his crop. This method of growing proved beneficial when Cyclone Yasi swept through our region, and not one of 450 established trees was lost.
Just one of the many stunning fruits we offer for tasting at our Tropical Fruit Safari every Monday and Tuesday at 1.00pm at the Mission Beach Visitor Information Centre. $4 per person. Pay at the Visitor Centre when you arrive. Bring your own chair in the busy season if you have one!
Mission Beach Visitor Centre Volunteer
Tropical Fruit Safari Presenter