A Kona couple has been recognized by Guinness for growing the world’s largest soursop.
Ken Verosko and Beth Smith, of Honaunau’s South Kona Fruit Stand and Farm, recently produced an 8.14-pound soursop that measured 24 inches around and 11.5 inches long. The gargantuan fruit was harvested in June.
According to Ken Love, executive director of the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers Association (HTFG), this is the third time a fruit grown in Kona has been deemed a Guinness World Record.
The late George Schattauer and his wife Margaret of Captain Cook earned the record for the world’s largest jackfruit in 2003; it tipped the scale at more than 76 pounds. In 2006, Colleen Porter grew the world’s biggest mango in her Kailua-Kona orchard. The massive mango weighed 5 pounds, 7 ounces and was about the size of a human head.
“What’s really amazing is that this soursop grew so big with the drought we’ve been having,” Verosko said.
The couple received a certificate July 30 from Guinness making the world record official.
Smith describes the taste of soursop as “a pina colada without the rum.” The New York native said the flavor is a combination of pineapple, banana, lime and coconut. She said soursop is ripe when a yellowish-green and soft to the touch. To eat it fresh, you cut it in half and spoon out the fruit.
“You have to spit out the seeds, like eating a watermelon,” Smith said.
The exotic fruit can be used to make a delicious juice, preserves or jelly. In Malaysia, its delicate flavor enhances ice cream and puddings while in the Philippines, a young fruit is cooked as a vegetable with coconut milk.
Medicinally, the soursop has multiple uses. Young shoots and leaves are a remedy for coughs and indigestion. Leaves are mashed to alleviate eczema and rheumatism. The unripe fruit has astringent properties.
The couple grew their gigantic soursop on their six-acre farm where they cultivate 700 fruit trees, including mango, avocado, citrus, pomegranate and dragonfruit. Verosko says the season for soursop varies but the fruit is still for sale at their stand, which is located between mile markers 103-104 on Highway. 11.
Deadline for early registration with a discounted fee for the 20th Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference is Aug. 15. The gathering is Sept. 24-26 at the Aston Aloha Beach Resort on Kauai.
The anniversary event is geared for farmers, educators, orchard managers and proponents of sustainable agriculture. Headlining the conference is Dr. Noris Ledesma of the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden Center in Florida.
The HTFG conference is open to the public. Registration forms are available on www.Hawaiifruit.net or by contacting Love at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s sponsored by the Office of Economic Development County of Kauai.
Incorporated in 1989 to promote tropical fruit grown in Hawaii, HTFG is a statewide association of tropical fruit growers, packers, distributors and hobbyists dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion; www.hawaiitropicalfruitgrowers…