I have fond memories of the Taman Serasi Food Centre. It’s long gone, demolished years ago in the name of urban development, and possibly modern food hygiene standards, I’d not be surprised. It used to be opposite the Singapore Botanic Gardens, across the road from where the garden’s grand gates now stand at the junction of Napier Road and Cluny Road. My mind recalls it as a small, cozy food centre with wonderful Malay fare and a drink stall that sold simply fantastic soursop juice.
Soursop – a.k.a. graviola, custard apple, brazilian paw paw, cherimoya and guanabana – isn’t sour at all, at least not to me. I love it for its sweet taste and the soft-chewy texture of its white flesh. On a warm day, like so many of Singapore’s days are, very few things can refresh and quench a thirst like a big mug of icy-cold soursop juice. And after you’ve drank all that delicious nectar, to then spoon up from the bottom of the mug and eat the soft sweet flesh of the soursop is just sublime.
For some time now, there’s been a fair bit of discussion on soursop being an alternative treatment for cancer due to it’s so-claimed powerful cancer-fighting abilities. Some have called the soursop a cancer stopper, attributing it to be up to 10,000 times more effective than chemotherapy at killing cancer cells, and even having the ability to selectively target and destroy certain types of cancer cells while leaving normal healthy cells alone. Others have alluded to stories of the natives of the Amazon who have consumed the leaves and bark of the soursop tree for thousands of years, and have apparently remained remarkably healthy and disease-resistant.
However, there has not been conclusive medical science research and evidence to support such claims about soursop. This is worth noting because there are a number of companies already selling graviola or soursop capsules, extracts and so on, and not cheaply either (because it seems to be a gruelling task to harvest the leaves and bark of the soursop tree from deep within the Amazon, and the more exotic the story is, the higher the going price too). Those who might be desperately searching for a miracle cure for themselves or their loved ones against this deadly disease can easily fall prey to unethical businesses and salespeople.
On the other hand, the purported health benefits of soursop are believeable. These include support for our body’s immune system, improvement of blood circulation, benefits to the lymphathic system, the fruit’s high antioxidant value and anti-aging properties.
And that’s because soursop contains a lot of nutritional goodness. It’s packed with vitamin C, the vitamin B group – thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), vitamin B6, and folate (B9) – as well as choline. Soursop is also loaded with essential minerals like calcium, iron, mangesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.
For me, soursop is ultimately a delicious, wonderful fruit, made better still by that fact that we get it easily here in Singapore. And here at Sofresh, we do supply this slightly odd shaped but nonetheless beautiful fruit to our clients – it seems that they love it too! Till the next time!