Soursop (the fruit of Annona muricata)
During my trip to Barbados, spending some time talking with local farmers and cooking with some regional produce I passed by this up to 10 meters high tree and its spiky fruits. Its green spiky fruits contain a beige, whitish fruit flesh, which is rich in carbohydrates and has a flavour somewhere between pineapple, strawberry and green apple. With its high Vitamin C content, it has a great acidity, which is perfect for many kinds of drinks, smoothies, sorbets or dairy products. As the fruit flesh is rich in carbohydrates, it can also be used to thicken up desserts or smoothies.
In addition, the soursop contains several B vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin, along with high amounts of calcium, phosphorus and a small amount of iron, making it a good supplement in your daily diet.
Traditionally it was often used by early colonialist to cure scorbutic and stomach problems and is described to have beneficial effects on the blood-sugar level. On the other hand, an alkaloid inside the fruit is described as having slightly neurotoxic effects, which is why it should be consumed in moderation.
Next to its fruit also the bark & leaves can be used and is also described to have beneficial effects. With its bitter taste, it can be used to make herbal teas and bitters, with marginal health benefits depending on what studies you follow.
Besides the leaves and barks, the leaves are used in the traditional cuisine as well. In Asia, for example, it is used to tenderise meat, but this form of usage is not researched very well until today but could be an interesting point for further applications.