The Custard Apple
A trip to the city China Town market lead to a surprising little discovery of a fruit I loved so much and had brushed into the corners of my childhood memory – the custard apple. There it was hidden amongst more recognizable stars at a single fruit vendor. I asked her how much she was selling it for? “10.99 a pound” she said. I bought one just to share a favorite flavor of my childhood with a loved one and for seeds to plant in my future fruit garden. The fruit was sweet, soft creamy deliciousness, just as I remembered!
Custard apples are a sub-tropical deciduous tree belonging to the Annonaceae family. This family contains over 2000 members spread throughout the world. The trees are large and spreading with large green drooping leaves. It’s flowers are light yellow trumpet-shaped flowers that emit a pungent, sweet smell.
A custard apple is ripe when you gently squeeze it and it gives slightly, similar to an avocado. You can buy custard apples ready to eat, or still hard to the touch and let it ripen over a few days. If you happen to see this fruit at some market or store somewhere, try it, you won’t be disappointed.