Scientific Name – Annona squamosa, A Short & Sweet Introduction To Sugar Apple – Custard Apple or Sitafal is a conically spherical shaped fruit grown on Annona squamosa plant. Custard apple has a thick rind of pale green color; the rind looks knobby showing fruit’s structure which consists of a lot of seeds. Custard apple is a fruit of many seeds covered with a white pulpy flesh.
The fruit grows up to a diameter of 2 to 4 inches and 2.5 to 4 inches in length. Each fruit has 20 to 45 seeds depending upon the growth and size. Seeds are black or slightly brown grown around a conical base.
Season To Enjoy Custard Apple
Custard apple blossoms in the hot months of April & May; and bears sweet, fleshy fruits from August to November. You can always consider winters to enjoy this delicious fruit.
Why The Name – Custard Apple
Custard Apple has many names in different cultures and countries. The fruit bears a flesh resembling custard and also very sweet, so the name Custard Apple used in India and Australia. Because of its sweet taste, it is known as Sugar Apple.
What Qualities Of Custard Apple Makes Us To Love It
Custard apple or sugar apple is very sweet when fully ripe with ether fragrance. The pulp or flesh is slightly yellow with a creamy texture. The pulp resembles with pudding in color as well as in texture.
Most Popular Culinary Uses Of Custard Apple
Custard Apple Wine: Wine is made by fermenting various fruits; custard apple wine is made by fermenting fruit’s flesh for 21 days. Custard apple wine does not require additional sugar because of its utter sweetness.
Custard Apple Ice-cream: Custard apple ice-cream is very tender and creamy in texture with an ether fragrance. Custard apple is very healthy and popular among children; it also gets affiliation from elders for its texture and healthiness.
Custard Apple Smoothie: Custard apple smoothie is a very soothing dish to serve when tired of the busy day. Custard apple smoothie is made by blending extracted pulp of custard apple, yogurt, and ice. You can garnish the custard apple smoothie with some roughly chopped dry fruits.
Custard Apple Halwa: Halwa is an Indian sweet dish enjoyed on any happy or festive occasion. Halwa is made using semolina, sugar, and milk as basic ingredients; with the addition of cardamom powder,
nutmeg for fragrance. Custard apple pulp is added to Halwa while cooking to bring smoothness and enhance the taste.
Custard Apple Jam: Custard apple pulp is mixed with other fruits pulp to make mix fruit jam which is served with bread butter or sandwiched between doughnuts.
Custard Apple Marmalade: Marmalade is a preserve recipe made with fruit pulp, water, sugar, cardamom powder, and lemon juice. You have to simmer every ingredient in a vessel for 15 to 20 minutes to make a tasty marmalade. Put the custard apple in jar and store in a cool place.
Custard Apple Milk Shake: Custard apple milkshake is enjoyed at every nook and corner in Indian subcontinent countries for its creamy, milky texture and sweet and iciness on a tired day in the winter season.
Custard Apple Kalakand: Custard apple kalakand is a sweet dish made with curdled milk, sugar, custard apple pulp, and cardamom powder for essence. The thick mix of custard apple and curdled milk is flattened in a plate and cut into small cakes garnished with silver foil.
Custard Apple Rabdi: Rabdi is an Indian subcontinent delicacy made by thickening milk; served hot or chilled. Custard apple Rabdi is flavored with sugar, cardamom, nutmeg, custard apple, and dry fruits.
Custard Apple Pudding: Custard apple pudding is made by adding custard apple pulp to beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla essence. Place a biscuit in muffin pan on a paper to form the base of the cake and place the cheese, custard apple mix over the biscuit. Bake and chill the small cakes and serve after late night dinners.
Nutritional Contents In Custard Apple
Vitamin C is richly found in the custard apple; it also provides B group vitamins and Folate in good amount. Custard apple also contains dietary minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, sodium, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium.
Health Benefits Of Custard Apple
Custard apple has many health benefits like healing wounds due to its anti-inflammatory, soothing and helps in fast re-growth of cells. Custard apple is good to reduce lipids in blood and controls blood pressure. Custard apple leaves when boiled in water and consumed in the morning keeps good metabolism and helps to throw toxins outside the body.
Custard apple consumption can keep you young because of its anti-aging property, and it also helps to lower the blood sugar level to keep diabetes under control.
When & How Custard Apple Came To Our Knowledge
Custard apple is native to West Indies, but it was carried from Central America to the southwest of Mexico; cultivated in Peru, Brazil, Florida, Bahamas, and Bermuda. Custard apple traveled to Africa and Asia with Spanish traders and cultivated in the region.
In South Africa, custard apple was grown as dooryard tree, and in India, it is cultivated especially around Calcutta where Spanish traders halted their ships. Later custard apple is grown wild in many areas of India.
Custard apple became common in the whole Southeast Asia region, east coast of Malaya, and in the Philippines.
Cultivation & Global Production Of Custard Apple
Custard apple is well grown in the hot and dry atmosphere; specifically on the slope of hills. Custard apple plant roots are shallowly grown in soil requires sandy loam soil, but it can grow in clay loam soil if properly maintained. Soil with little rocky texture is also okay for custard apple tree, but it should be well drained.
Custard apple is commercially cultivated in the countries like India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, and the Philippines. Custard apple is also grown in some parts of Florida, Australia, Egypt, and Africa.