The Fruit Rick Bayless Calls 'Ethereal'

Chef Rick Bayless may have cemented his culinary expertise when he was crowned winner of "Top Chef Masters," but it is the "Mexico: One Plate at a Time" host's passion for traditional Mexican cooking and all its elements that keep us talking. Bayless recently revealed his passion for a particular tropical fruit on Twitter – and it's worth talking about. "You can't imagine how much I love the flavor of these beautiful guanabanas we've been working with at Frontera. To me, their flavor is ethereal," he tweeted, giving a nod to his chain of restaurants.

If you've never heard of this exotic-sounding fruit, you aren't alone. It's not likely you will see one of these babies alongside your classic apples and bananas. However, once you do, it may find its way into some of your favorite recipes. But what exactly is a guanabana and why does the delicate taste of this fruit have Bayless not just gushing over it, but using it on his restaurant menus?

What is a guanabana?

The guanabana, which also goes by the name soursop, can be found in Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Peru, and Venezuela. Its appearance is less inviting than how Bayless describes its taste. The guanabana looks a little like an oversized, green avocado — but with a spiky exterior. Inside, its white flesh is reminiscent of a blend of pineapple and mango with a texture described as creamy. Its black seeds cannot be eaten as they have toxic compounds, per WebMD.

Guanabanas are big fruits with big flavor. They aren't as large as watermelons, but a single fruit can be eight inches long and weigh 10 pounds. Guanabana can be eaten raw but it can also be found in juices, yogurt, and even ice cream. It tastes delicious in smoothies and other blended drinks. Additionally, in the South American countries where soursop is found, its pulp is used to make a popular canned drink that is dairy-based and sweetened with sugar.

This fruit is also known for its nutrients. WebMD says just one guanabana contains 83% of the daily recommended amount of fiber and 215% of vitamin C. This fruit is a powerhouse.

How Rick Bayless is using guanabana at his restaurants

Bayless has found a way to incorporate guanabana into the Oaxaca Daiquiri he serves at his Frontera Cocina's restaurant in Disney Springs. Per Disney Food Blog, Bayless got inspiration from the flavors of Oaxaca, which include rum, banana flavor, guanabana liquor, and agave nectar, for the drink, which is served frozen in a glass with a brown sugar-chia seed rim.

Meanwhile, on the menu of his Chicago restaurant, Topolobampo, Bayless serves a Tascalate Tart, which features fresh guanabana with custard, ice cream, nueganos, and turrones.

Bayless has also been known to use frozen guanabana in his margaritas. In a video posted to his Youtube Channel, Bayless demonstrates how to make the classic cocktail that pulls together some of our favorite tropical flavors, including orange liqueur, lime juice, and of course, guanabana puree. After shaking the mixture with blanco tequila, Bayless serves the beverage in a glass that has been rimmed with salt to enhance the taste.