Author Topic: How does ilama REALLY taste, and what would you rate it ?/10  (Read 1322 times)

Filozophr

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How does ilama REALLY taste, and what would you rate it ?/10
« on: October 04, 2023, 01:15:18 AM »
I keep seeing many ilama seeds with various names referring to different foods and flavors. Can you guys give me a good rundown on ilama taste based on its flesh and skin color, if it even matters? I get people saying raspberry, candy, cotton candy; I've even seen someone name one as vanilla. Help, I have to decide what I'm going to grow. I don't want one because it's rare and does not taste good when it fruits in a few years. Give me as many descriptions as you want, please. I also plan on growing it in pots; hopefully, if the oldest one I currently have fruits and my parents like, I can put it in the ground, although even that is risky.
Feel free to pm me if you have any ANNONACEAE for sale‼️

Mugenia

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Re: How does ilama REALLY taste, and what would you rate it ?/10
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2023, 07:57:25 AM »
FWIW, Asian people told me to stay away from illama. They all said the fruit sucks. On the side of the spectrum, Américan of all shades all swear up and down that the fruit is good. If I have to make a wager, I will go with them Asians.

That's being said, I have a red illama. I will use it to pollinate my atemoyas. That might enhance the flavors of the atemoya.

Cookie Monster

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Re: How does ilama REALLY taste, and what would you rate it ?/10
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2023, 10:13:43 AM »
It's been a while since I've had them, but the flavor was quite good, just a notch below cherimoya and atemoya. However, getting them to fruit and remain healthy is a challenge. They are plagued by leaf hopper, which causes stunted leaves, chlorosis, and ultimately an unhealthy and stunted tree. Seed borer may also present a problem. And it usually requires boron to set fruit. I've only seen one productive / healthy ilama tree in south florida. I'd say it is only suited for the more advanced growers.
Jeff  :-)

Fleep

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Re: How does ilama REALLY taste, and what would you rate it ?/10
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2023, 11:01:29 AM »
Taste is going to always be subjective. What may be helpful is to narrow it down to two tastes. Acidic which explains the raspberry, cotton candy flavors, and sweet which explains the vanilla flavor. Do you and your family enjoy sweet fruits or acidic fruits or both flavors? If you start them from seed, then you won’t know what flavor or color pulp they are regardless of the description someone advertises until you harvest them from your own tree. If grafted, then the person that sold it to you may have that answer for you. Where I consumed them, pinks are generally more acidic like a raspberry, while whites are sweet like vanilla similar to a sugar apple but not the same. I have also had whites that are more acidic or more flavorful then a pink ilama. Also try to time harvest before cooler weather sets in. Genetics and cool weather conditions during fruit development and even amount of rainfall or lack of rainfall plays a strong role in flavor.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2023, 11:14:40 AM by Fleep »

K-Rimes

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Re: How does ilama REALLY taste, and what would you rate it ?/10
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2023, 01:41:18 PM »
I was just in El Salvador during ilama (annona, it is called there) season and ate my face off. My stomach hurt every day from eating too many.

It is a good fruit, and I think it's worth growing. For me, it's somewhere between a pawpaw and cherimoya flavor wise, with much drier flesh than either of them but not too dry by any means. The floral smell can be really intoxicating on the nose and they are very pleasant fruits to just sniff the top of, especially once they've cracked.

I found white flesh that were good, but most were kinda bland. I think they're highly dependent on when they're picked. It seemed to me that the pink, mottled pink/white, or purple/red were the best flavors but I don't think these are going to be true to seed so... Just grow a bunch and cull any that produce poor fruit.

Even in the wrong climate, I will be trying to grow them. If I were in 10a I would have at least one tree.

Edit: 8/10 fruit overall for me
« Last Edit: October 04, 2023, 02:15:29 PM by K-Rimes »

SHV

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Re: How does ilama REALLY taste, and what would you rate it ?/10
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2023, 03:46:17 PM »
I'd say it is only suited for the more advanced growers.

Hold my beer…

I haven’t heard of any success in growing this fruit in SoCA with a few possible exceptions.  Would still love to taste it based on K-Rimes experience in El Salvador

Eggo

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Re: How does ilama REALLY taste, and what would you rate it ?/10
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2023, 03:50:23 PM »
I had grown a seedling which I eventually grafted onto a cherimoya rootstock. It gave only a handful of fruits over the years. And the flowers did not accept cherimoya or atemoya pollens.  I thought it has the sweetness and texture of a sweet potatoe in a not so good way. Mind you this was a seedling and not a named cultivar which probably is much superior. In addition, mine never cracked it would just drop. From what I heard it's best when it cracks.  Which worries me a bit also, as crack cherimoya and atemoya here tends to get moldy before ripening here in my area. So that is interesting for ilama.

When it comes to Anona, texture plays a big part.  Most Asians consider the atemoya superior due to texture. As it is more firm and pleasantly chewy.  If you do not like this texture you would call it rubbery, chewy in bad way, and scallopy lol.  For most American western pallette the cherimoya is superior and the texture is describe as pleasantly custardly. Those that don't like it will call it mushy baby food, lol.  With that said I don't know many with a western taste bud that will pay $15 to $20 a lb for cherimoyas except fruitnuts like us.  While many asians easily pay this for a quality atemoya.  So depending on texture, I could see why asians would not like the ilama.

My perfect Anona would be one with all the superior cherimoya flavors but the texture of a atemoya or firm sweetsop. It took me some years to get past that bit of atemoya aftertaste that reminds a little of rubber, lol. I think it comes from the sweetsop genes and i still taste this in any hybrids. I grow mostly atemoya now.  But if anyone has a pure genetic cherimoya with a atemoya texture, let me know.

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Re: How does ilama REALLY taste, and what would you rate it ?/10
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2023, 03:55:05 PM »
Raul describes the ilamas he found in Coatepec as, juicy, more flesh and less seeds, with good acidity and complex flavors and the best he's tried. 

I don't know if it's because of the soil, climate, and region or superior genetics, but he was willing to travel far to get them. 

https://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=44802.msg437639#msg437639

Kevin, I hope you're able to grow some of them to fruiting.  I have several of Raul's seedlings so fingers crossed there may be a SoCal ilama tasting in a few years.

Janet

gozp

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Re: How does ilama REALLY taste, and what would you rate it ?/10
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2023, 04:14:09 PM »
I'd say it is only suited for the more advanced growers.


Hold my beer…

I haven’t heard of any success in growing this fruit in SoCA with a few possible exceptions.  Would still love to taste it based on K-Rimes experience in El Salvador

JF have successfully grew ilama var rosada and had fruited multiple years.

Currently, he has a fruiting guillermo and genova and forgot the other var which are currently growing fruitlets right now.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2023, 11:03:28 PM by gozp »

K-Rimes

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Re: How does ilama REALLY taste, and what would you rate it ?/10
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2023, 08:05:29 PM »
Quote
Raul describes the ilamas he found in Coatepec as, juicy

I ate probably 30-40 different fruits from various sellers in El Salvador and not one was ever "juicy" and would drip. Not going to say they were dry, but probably not even white sapote levels of moisture. More moist than a mamey, I guess, but not by much. Fluffy is a better description, for me.

I have a simply insane amount of seeds, so I have plenty of chances. I'll sell some if anyone wants to try. Tried to keep seeds only of the very best ones.

Oolie

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Re: How does ilama REALLY taste, and what would you rate it ?/10
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2023, 11:30:15 PM »
Quote
Raul describes the ilamas he found in Coatepec as, juicy

I ate probably 30-40 different fruits from various sellers in El Salvador and not one was ever "juicy" and would drip. Not going to say they were dry, but probably not even white sapote levels of moisture. More moist than a mamey, I guess, but not by much. Fluffy is a better description, for me.

I have a simply insane amount of seeds, so I have plenty of chances. I'll sell some if anyone wants to try. Tried to keep seeds only of the very best ones.

Is it "fluffy" like inga? Sometimes Inga are described as juicy, especially ones with high brix that trigger salivation (think cotton candy).

I had grown a seedling which I eventually grafted onto a cherimoya rootstock. It gave only a handful of fruits over the years. And the flowers did not accept cherimoya or atemoya pollens.  I thought it has the sweetness and texture of a sweet potatoe in a not so good way. Mind you this was a seedling and not a named cultivar which probably is much superior. In addition, mine never cracked it would just drop. From what I heard it's best when it cracks.  Which worries me a bit also, as crack cherimoya and atemoya here tends to get moldy before ripening here in my area. So that is interesting for ilama.

When it comes to Anona, texture plays a big part.  Most Asians consider the atemoya superior due to texture. As it is more firm and pleasantly chewy.  If you do not like this texture you would call it rubbery, chewy in bad way, and scallopy lol.  For most American western pallette the cherimoya is superior and the texture is describe as pleasantly custardly. Those that don't like it will call it mushy baby food, lol.  With that said I don't know many with a western taste bud that will pay $15 to $20 a lb for cherimoyas except fruitnuts like us.  While many asians easily pay this for a quality atemoya.  So depending on texture, I could see why asians would not like the ilama.

My perfect Anona would be one with all the superior cherimoya flavors but the texture of a atemoya or firm sweetsop. It took me some years to get past that bit of atemoya aftertaste that reminds a little of rubber, lol. I think it comes from the sweetsop genes and i still taste this in any hybrids. I grow mostly atemoya now.  But if anyone has a pure genetic cherimoya with a atemoya texture, let me know.

I've never had a pure cherimoya with that texture, but plenty of the 3/4 moya's will have it, and they seem to thrive in the intense heat waves of east county. Probably the best choice for targeting that market. (I enjoy the Jak texture too)

That aftertaste is what I describe as phenolic. It's a common defect in coffee, and can remind people of things like strawberry flavor added to those rubber balloons you used to buy at convenience stores and inflate on the end of the straw.  Some people appreciate the flavor, but I can understand why you'd be more inclined to find that bubblegum or Pierce type flavor.

I have a moya with the bubblegum flavor which isn't consistent, it needs to be evaluated for a few more years, but it can have a firmer texture, but not as firm as the 3/4 moyas, which all seem to have that flavor you dislike to some extent.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2023, 11:38:41 PM by Oolie »

Eggo

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Re: How does ilama REALLY taste, and what would you rate it ?/10
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2023, 01:08:16 AM »
Thanks Oolie, the explanation on the phenolic tastes help me understand my own taste bud a bit more. Over 20 years ago I grew out many many cherimoya seedlings looking for that texture combination I'd say I got 1 that was about 40% there from a Booth seedling but was inconsistent sometimes. I was always planning to do a 2nd generation seedling but never got to it unfortunately.

Pan Dulce

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Re: How does ilama REALLY taste, and what would you rate it ?/10
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2023, 01:45:28 PM »
I've had them during the month of August, while on surf trips to El Salvador.  I'd rate the pink fleshed ones above cherimoya and atemoya, and on par with good quality pawpaws.  I've had loads of cherimoyas from both Hawaii and California and loads of atemoyas here in Florida, so I'm not judging from eating a small sample.

All the trees I saw in El Sal, were much better looking than the ones I've seen in Homestead, granted pest pressures are probably higher here in Florida.  The trees also have a more upright growth habit with less overall canopy in El Sal versus here.

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Re: How does ilama REALLY taste, and what would you rate it ?/10
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2023, 12:05:17 PM »
It's been a while since I've had them, but the flavor was quite good, just a notch below cherimoya and atemoya. However, getting them to fruit and remain healthy is a challenge. They are plagued by leaf hopper, which causes stunted leaves, chlorosis, and ultimately an unhealthy and stunted tree. Seed borer may also present a problem. And it usually requires boron to set fruit. I've only seen one productive / healthy ilama tree in south florida. I'd say it is only suited for the more advanced growers.

Green leaf hoppers have been a major issue in my back yard lately. Hard to grow sugar apple now without the use of some sort of insecticide. They also attack the new slow growing leaves of the Viejo mamey. They don’t attack my Pace,  but do also attack the Pantin, but not as bad.
Alexi

Oolie

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Re: How does ilama REALLY taste, and what would you rate it ?/10
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2023, 09:51:37 PM »
I've had them during the month of August, while on surf trips to El Salvador.  I'd rate the pink fleshed ones above cherimoya and atemoya, and on par with good quality pawpaws.  I've had loads of cherimoyas from both Hawaii and California and loads of atemoyas here in Florida, so I'm not judging from eating a small sample.

All the trees I saw in El Sal, were much better looking than the ones I've seen in Homestead, granted pest pressures are probably higher here in Florida.  The trees also have a more upright growth habit with less overall canopy in El Sal versus here.

You're not the only one, Har also compares Pawpaw favorably.

I've gotta get some of these amazing asiminas.

brian

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Re: How does ilama REALLY taste, and what would you rate it ?/10
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2023, 05:29:04 PM »
Wait, are people really saying the best annona is the cold-hardy native paw-paw - Asimina triloba?? 

Somebody gave me a few seedling pawpaw trees years ago and I planted them out in the woods and forgot about them.   I'm not even sure what they look like I haven't really gone searching for them.  I've never actually tasted one or seen a mature tree.

Oolie

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Re: How does ilama REALLY taste, and what would you rate it ?/10
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2023, 08:12:00 PM »
Time to put on the Aussie hat and go on a bushunt!

K-Rimes

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Re: How does ilama REALLY taste, and what would you rate it ?/10
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2023, 08:14:09 PM »
Wait, are people really saying the best annona is the cold-hardy native paw-paw - Asimina triloba?? 


There were some parallels in the flavor of ilama and pawpaw for me. Both are very good, but yeah, I'd probably put a selected variety pawpaw, picked at peak ripeness, above the same of ilama.

brian

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Re: How does ilama REALLY taste, and what would you rate it ?/10
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2023, 09:00:13 PM »
I will have to make an earnest effort to grow some pawpaws outdoors.  It would be funny to find I spent so much time growing tropical annonas only to find the best one is native to my area!  Though still rare it seems

 

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