Book VIII, Chapter XVII
Of the guanábano or soursop tree [Annona muricate] and its fruit.
Translated by Sofia Rodas ’20
Soursop is an elegant, handsome, imposing, and tall tree. Its fruit is beautiful and large and green like melons. On the outside they have notable scales, like a pineapple’s but smoother and not as pronounced. It is a cold fruit and better eaten when it is hot, and a man can eat an entire soursop without being harmed. The skin or peel is thin, like that of a pear, or a little thicker. The fruit and delicacy of the inside is like cream, or it resembles manjar blanco [milk custard] or cream in consistency. This food or delicacy melts in one’s mouth, like water, with a pleasing sweetness. Between the flesh of the fruit there are very big seeds, like pumpkin seeds but thicker, of a dark tawny color. They are, as I have said, tall, impressive, and beautiful trees, and the leaves are very fresh and green, resembling the shape of a lime tree leaf. The wood is reasonable, but not tough.
Image: Botanical illustration of a soursop tree (Annona muricata) by Berthe Hoola van Nooten in the 1800s.