Saturday, September 3, 2011

Custard Apples

We have a few fruit trees in our back garden - papaya, pomegranate and custard apple. Most of us have heard of the first two, or have seen them in stores in America or the UK, but I'm not sure if I'd even heard of custard apple before I came here.

Looking out to the back garden
For the Ganesha festival on Thursday our maid, Suma, bought loads of fruit - bananas, grapes, apples, pomegranate and some custard apples (even though I'd picked one of each of the latter two from the garden) to put in the shrine for Ganesha - apparently he loves fruit and sweets. After a day you can take the fruits away from the shrine to eat them. Suma peeled and prepared the pomegranate for us, but we were left with four custard apples.

Fruit on the custard apple tree
I'd never tried one before and had no idea how to tell if they were ripe. The ones on the tree are quite large and firm (although not as large as a pinks mammoth variety which can apparently reach 3kg); the ones from the store were smaller but really soft. However as soon as I squeezed one of these it popped in half, revealing lovely sweet-smelling flesh:

Opened custard apple
To eat it you scoop out the flesh, pop the spoonful in your mouth and separate out the hard seeds. The flavor is lovely - kind of sweet, and fragrant, and the texture is soft. It's a little bit lychee-ish, and very tasty. It went surprisingly well with a mug of tea:

Discarded seeds
Seems like it has quite a bit of good vitamin action along with all the sugars. Here are some custard apple recipes I might try in the future.

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