Sugar-apple is the fruit of Annona squamosa, the most widely grown species of Annona and a native of the tropical Americas and West Indies. The fruit is round to conical, 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) in diameter and 6–10 cm (2.4–3.9 in) long, and weighing 100–240 g (3.5–8.5 oz), with a thick rind composed of knobby segments. The color is typically pale green to blue-green, with a deep pink blush in certain varieties, and typically has a bloom. It is unique among Annona fruits in being segmented, and the segments tend to separate when ripe, exposing the interior.
The flesh is fragrant and sweet, creamy white to light yellow, and resembles and tastes like custard. It is found adhering to 13–16 mm (0.51–0.63 in) long seeds to form individual segments arranged in a single layer around the conical core. It is soft, slightly grainy, and slippery. The hard, shiny seeds may number 20-38 or more per fruit, and have a brown to black coat, although varieties exist that are almost seedless.
There are also new varieties being developed in Taiwan. The atemoya or "pineapple sugar-apple", a hybrid between the Sugar Apple and the Cherimoya, is popular in Taiwan, although it was first developed in the USA in 1908. The fruit is similar in sweetness to the sugar apple but has a very different taste. Like the name suggests, it tastes like pineapple. The arrangement of seeds is in spaced rows, with the fruit's flesh filling most of the fruit and making grooves for the seeds, instead of the flesh only occurring around the seeds.
Due to its widespread cultivation, many local names have developed for the fruit.
In English, it is most widely known as a sugar apple or sweetsop as well as a custard apple, especially in India and Australia (custard apple also refers to Annona reticulata, a closely related species).
In Hispanic America, regional names include anón, anón de azucar, anona blanca, fruta do conde, cachiman, saramuyo, grenadilla (little grenade) and many others.
In Tanzania, it is called matopetope.
In Kenya, it is called matomoko.
In Angola, it is called fruta-do-conde or fruta-pinha.
In Mali, Africa, it is called hairico.
In Madagascar, it is called conicony in Malagasy.
In Cambodian, regional names include "plae teib".
In Nepal,it is called "shareefa".
In Pakistan, it is called Shareefa.
In Indonesia, srimatikiya or, as mostly people call it, srikaya.
Its name in Burmese is aajaa thee.
In the Philippines, it is called atis.
In Thailand, it is called noi-na (น้อยหน่า) (which is also the common name for a hand grenade) because of its appearance.
In Vietnam, it is called mãng cầu ta or na.
In the Middle East region, it is called قشطة (qishta / ishta / ashta), the English translation being "cream".
In Hong Kong, it is called foreign lychee (番鬼荔枝).
In Malaysia, it is called buah nona.
In Iceland, it is called hvaðerþetta.
In Sri Lanka, it is call "Anoda" in Sinhalese.
Nutrition and uses
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||393 kJ (94 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||4.4 g|
|Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Sugar-apple is high in energy, an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese, a good source of thiamine and vitamin B6, and provides vitamin B2, B3 B5, B9, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium in fair quantities.
A Philippine company produces sugar apple wine.
For uses of other fruit from the Custard-apple family see:
Sugar apple (right), with Taiwanese "pineapple shijia" (atemoya) (left)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Annona squamosa.|
|Wikisource has the text of a 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article about Sugar-apple.|