Information About Custard Apples
Custard apples originated in South America and the West Indies. They are now planted in Asia, Australia, and other tropical countries. These apples are typically heart-shaped or oval-shaped and can weigh up to 450g. They have light tan or greenish quilted-skin that turns brown as the fruit ripens.
The flesh is particularly mellow and custard-like. The central core is also soft but has no flavor. The flesh contains a number of hard, black, oval seeds that are inedible and must be separated out, making it difficult to eat elegantly.
Buying and Storing
Custard apples are fragile, so here are some tips when buying:
- They are picked before they are fully ripe, so allow 4 to 5 days for firm fruit to ripen or select mature fruit that are dull brownish-green in color.
- Choose compact fruit with unblemished skin and tightly packed corpels. Once these have separated, the fruit is past its best.
- Press gently to check that the fruit has a slight “give.”
- Custard apples should be eaten as soon as possible after buying but can be kept in the bottom of the fridge for a day or two.
- Unripe fruit should be kept in a brown bag at room temperature until they are ready to eat.
These apples are usually eaten raw. Simply cut the fruit in half length-wise and scoop the flesh straight from the shell with a spoon, discarding the inedible seeds.
The creamy, smooth flesh of the custard apples makes a wonderful puree for smoothies. It can be added to mashed bananas and made into ice cream. It can also be an addition to fruit salads.
Custard apples are a well-balanced food because they have protein, fibre, and minerals, and are a good source of vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium.
They're My Favorite Fruit
These are definitely one of my favorite fruits. It is widely cultivated in the Philippines and available all year round. Accordingly, the Spaniards brought the custard seeds to the Philippines during the 17th century.
Custard apple trees are also a popular backyard fruit-tree in the Philippines. It only grows about 10–20 ft high when fully matured. So even if you have a small backyard, it won’t take much space, and you can plant it by using the seeds.
Custard apples are usually sold in the local market. You can see them almost all year round because the tree bears fruit almost three times a year, but it is at its best during summer months.
When I moved to Australia, I thought I will never be able to eat custard apples, but I was wrong, there are custard apples here. They're a bit different in shape and taste a bit creamier, but I have noticed that they tend to have fewer seeds. They're a bit expensive, but it's worth it.
© 2010 MM Del Rosario