The Weirdest Fruit, Part V

Soursop Cheesecake, Ice Cream & Drink

Hi, I'm Yoli, Community Moderator for I like eating and want to learn about locally grown food, fresh ingredients, and interesting cuisines that can be found in Los Angeles. Come with me on this journey, and let's dig in together! If you're new, read parts I, II, III, IV of the Weirdest Fruit Series.

It's always risky to cook for a group of people when using a new recipe for the first time. On first run, you are unable to work out the kinks or adjust the measurements. But that is what I ended up doing last week when I made a soursop cheesecake using a recipe I found online.

When I brought in my cheesecake to KCET's New Media Department I worried about what my co-workers would think. We would all be trying the soursop cheesecake together after lunch--what if it was no good?

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Just in case people didn't like the cheesecake, I brought in soursop ice cream and juice I found in El Camaguey in Palms -- which I now see as my one-stop shopping market for anything soursop.

Cans of Goya Soursop Drink

Soursop Ice Cream

Once everything was set up, the soursop tasting began:

The vocals in the video were provided by your very own KCET New Media team--it's a talented bunch. If you recognize the tune--"Mahna Mahna" from Sesame Street--that's because soursop is called guanabana in many Spanish-speaking countries. Somehow, "Mahna Mahna" was replaced with "guana-bana," and the rest was history.

The consensus was that the cheesecake was different. It was a new flavor that our palette had to get used to. Many enjoyed the pineapple-like flavor of the cheesecake, others were reminded of their childhood, a wonderful time when fresh soursop was readily available.

What was left of the Soursop Cheesecake

I liked the cheesecake, but preferred the ice cream, which had a subtle soursop flavor and tasted almost like vanilla.

Now I want to hear from you! What do you think about soursop? Do you want to taste it? Have you had the drink, which is available in a lot of Central American restaurants?

About the Author

Hi, I'm's Community Moderator. I love Los Angeles, reading, history, and sunny days.
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Bwahahaha! Guana-bana


Dear Yoli,
I can't tell you how excited I am that you are bringing Guanabana out of the shadows! I love all things Guanabana too! You can get the pulp at El Recreo on Temple street and Coronado in Historic Filipino town. They sell the pulp for making guava, guanabana and mamey smoothies. YUM!
Please please share your guanabana cheesecake recipe!


Guana bana bana....=)


Thanks all for you comments!

@Carolyn, thanks for telling us about El Recreo! I was starting to think that El Camaguey was the only place that sold guanabana, glad to know there are more places out there. The recipe for guanabana cheesecake can be found in the fourth post:

Can anyone get the guana-bana song out of their head?



I know I'm late but this was a great report. I recently discovered Guanabana and before I even clicked on the video I already had the Guana-bana song stuck in my head :).... I too was recently deceived thinking I was eating Guanabana when it was Chirimoya all along hahaha, oh well, at least now I know the difference! FYI this fruit is extremely healthy. It allegedly helps lower blood pressure, stress, depression and is even used with some alternative treatments for cancer patients. Thanks again for your work :)


Hi Yoli.. I just read your Guanabana series with great interest! I am starting my own search for it here in Los Angeles. However I want to find it fresh, not packaged. I am looking for it so I can determine if it is something I can include in my diet.

I have Follicular Lymphoma and I have had a first round of 6 chemotherapy treatments. Either as a reaction to the chemo or my chemo depressed immune system, I've had a fairly rare disease come into my lungs that is affecting my ability to breathe. It's called Bronchialitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia also known as BOOP. It took awhile to diagnose and they finally had to cut a piece of my lung out last week to get enough tissue to biopsy. I'm now recovering at home with the current treatment for BOOP, which is primarily strong steroids. They also give me anti-biotics and various other drugs to offset the effects of the first drugs. I hate drugs but for now I have to stick with the program that the doctors have created.

Yesterday I read about Guanabana or Soursop as being a powerful cancer fighting food. So I'm just starting my search. Of course it may not be proven to fight cancer, but some studies have shown that it does affect cancer. I am a strong believer that we are what we eat and the more I can contribute to my health by eating healthy things might help fight the cancer naturally.

It sounds like you have not yet found fresh Guanabana locally. If you have can you please let me know where? Meanwhile, I will start doing my own search and let you know if I have any luck!

Thank you so much for your cool series on this unusual fruit! Now I'm really interested in tasting it.. apart from finding out more about the potential health benefits.