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The best fruit in the world

A pile of Annona reticulata custard apple fruits in a small market in rural Mexico
This might be the best fruit in the world! We have encountered this amazing fruit three times only in our 5 years of fruit hunting travels! It wasn’t love at first sight and you’ll have to read till the very end to discover our full adventure that this magical fruit took us on. Its latin name is Annona Reticulata but also known as bullock’s heart it is found in rural Mexico but also in many other countries around Central and Latin America. Some islands of the Caribbean as well as Sri Lanka and India seem to cultivate this fruit!


4 weeks into our stay in Tulum. Time for another exciting new fruit, this time for one of our favourite fruit families – the Annonacea family, rumoured to be one of the most medicinal fruit families out there. You guys know that if we ever have a daughter we’ll call her Nona which is how they call their Annonas in Borneo, right? Back to this gem.

Red annona reticulata fruit or Bullock's heart custard apple. From the outside and cut open.

This chunky Anona, locally called Bullock’s Heart, in the books going by the name Annona Reticulata, has a very thick stem. One you cannot see in the picture but can imagine considering the size of the place where the stem meets the fruit (a place which we nicknamed ‘assholito’ but that’s just our insider jargon).

For an annona it was easier to eat than a custard apple or a cherimoya as the bottom part didn’t have much seeds. There was also a lot of that grainy creaminess in the sweet spot under the skin which made it feel like it was more creamy than a cherimoya. As you will see later on in this post there are 2 main types of Annona Reticulata, the red ones and the yellow/orange ones. You would expect this red one to taste fenomenal right? Just look at that red blush inside!

A first taste test

Whereas Chippy detected strawberry notes in the sweetness I was struck by memories from over thirty years ago when I was eating US-imported hickory smoked ham in Kuwait. It was that hickory-smoked aroma that I found once again in this fruit. Please be wiser than I was and do not eat ham. Processed meat is a Class 1 Carcinogen according to International Agency for Research on Cancer on the same list as Arsenic and Asbestos. You don’t want to eat that!

Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, species from this very Annonaceae fruit family have been shown to have promising compounds that can be used in the treatment of chronic disease. Creamy and rich – we liked it but nothing like the ones further in this post! Moreover, there’s plenty of Bullock’s heart fruit trees close to our place here and the fruits look like they will be ripening in the next months!

The best fruit in the world

Now on the Pacific Coast, it’s been a few days since we’ve found one and we’re super keen to find more! Just look at the variety of colors in these annonas in the top picture of this post! Maroon skinned with a disarming pink inside. Orange on the outside with a smoked yellow flesh. A yellow one that’s creamy with a rosy blush in the most ripe sweet spot. And then a brightly white one with yellow skin. The tastiest ones have been the yellow skinned ones but that could be purely statistical: we’ve found more of them than the other colors.
On the way to Oaxaca we stop at a super small town market. To our big surprise we found 30! of these super rare fruits with 2 different ladies at the market. You should have seen everyone cheering us on with all these annona’s in our hands. Oh yes, we forgot to bring bags from the car!

The real deal

A few hours later we arrive at the big market parking in Oaxaca and settle down for lunch in our car (as the surroundings were rather dodgy). There were tears! OMG’s.  A lot of gushing and way too much fruit cream smeared all over our faces. This was no doubt the best fruit we’ve had in Mexico but probably the best fruit we’ve had this year. One of the most legendary meals of our lives across all food categories. We couldn’t believe how lucky we have been. We must have bought up to 30 of these in the tiny towns along the way to Oaxaca.

All super soft and bursting open, tempting us to eat them on the spot. So fragile, no wonder they don’t make it to the markets of the big cities. Their taste so complex we can only describe it as warm croissant with cream cheese, ham and a topping of raspberry jam. It’s the yellow and orange ones that steal the show. Each one of them slightly different in taste but all rank in our top 3 fruits ever eaten with ease. Can you see just how creamy and gooey they are?

Yellow Annona Reticulata custard apple. From the outside and cut open.

Croissant with cream cheese and raspberry jam

Let me explain: croissant because they have this rich warmness of childhood memories of your mother baking cake. But they also do taste of a freshly baked French croissant nevertheless! Cream cheese because they are distinctly cheesy and the best ones are very salty and may I add thick like Philadelphia cream cheese. Ham note: this one is hard to explain but for me it’s reminiscent of hickory smoked ham. Raspberry jam: main flavor, easily spotted in all specimens.
Until now our favorite annona was Rollinia or Biriba but if one was to compare: Rollinia is like a fresh icy pinacolada meanwhile these are like eating a super rich mac n cheese. There is a thick layer of dense cream right under the skin that will just have your knees weaken. So smoothly fatty and moist they make custard apples & cherimoya seem rather dry in comparison.
Presenting the one fruit that we want to hunt for like crazy in Mexico: Annona Reticulata.
And just like that, they were gone. After that legendary meal of 30 annonas, we never found them again. We’ve vowed to each other to come back to Mexico one day and continue the hunt.

Would you eat the best fruit in the world?

If you want to read about another ‘Best Fruit EVER’ experience, this time in Spain, you can do so HERE.

Let us know in the comments below if you would love to try the best fruit in the world. It would blow your mind, we can guarantee it! Please share this post to anyone who loves fruit (or not) and we will see you in the next blog post!

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Raw Food Experts

Our adventure began on Instagram when Simon aka Chippy looked up #fruitarian and was magnetized by Tina’s juicy fruit pictures. 

Half a year later once in Bali he suggested a meet-up. Inseparable since that first meeting, together they became insatiable in the hunt for the rarest best-tasting fruits on the planet. 

Combing through the most far-flung jungles they have documented their journey on Instagram and Youtube where their adventures are enjoyed by millions of people worldwide!

Simon and Tina are the creators of The 30-Day Raw Food Challenge, the health & weight loss program designed to help you reach your optimal weight & incredible health without calorie restriction.

If you liked this post you will love The 30-Day Raw Food Challenge!

If you liked this post you will love 
The 30-Day Raw Food Challenge!

6 Responses

  1. Whoo hoo, this is SO EXCITING to see your website, wow!!! It looks phenomenal, congratulations to both of you.
    Sounds like you found some really exceptional Annona reticulata fruits. I know I’ve had some of that species that were kind of bland (white fleshed), and some (red fleshed) that were incredible tasting, just like a rich strawberry/raspberry jam. But they definitely didn’t have flavors reminding me of croissant, cream cheese, or ham (!). I’d like to try that kind. Did you record the name of the town, or get a GPS location there? Seems like a market that other fruit explorers might want to visit during Annona reticulata season.

    1. Hey Craig, so nice to have you here! Yes the reticulata’s were insane!! We found them in the markets of desert towns between puebla and Oaxaca, especially in Huajuapan de Leon and Acatlan de Osorio! Pretty far flung places with nothing to do or see except super beautiful desert 🙂

  2. This reminds me of a similar experience I had with palm fruit. To me they taste like smoked oysters, very satisfying and a weird experience from a fruit. Can’t wait to try this

  3. Hi Simon and Tina, you are both the kind of folk that I would love to have join me on my quest to find, save, and grow food plant species from around the world, many at risk from habitat loss, deforestation, climate change, and negative human impact. I’ll be moving to Ashland, Oregon, to buy ranches in the area with many thousands of acres of land to turn cow pastures into food forests, and off grid eco-villages with other Earth stewards who love Gaia / Mother Earth, and all life she cares for, including each other. Each of our sites will showcase practical solutions to end thirst, hunger, homelessness, and energy deficits, that exist now, to show our guests and visitors what is possible to build a regenerative future, not sustaining systems that no longer work, and only destroy precious habitat unless we protect them.

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