The sweet-sop (Annona squamosa), also known as the sugar apple, is the most common of the Moya genus of tropical fruits. The actual location of origin of the sweet-sop is unknown, but is mostly likely in either South America or the West Indies. In the early 1700s Spanish explorers transported the seeds to the Philippines and India, and from there it spread to Africa, China, and Australia. Sweet-sop is probably the most popular in India and the fruits can easily be found in markets there, however it can also be found in Brazil, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Sweet-sop trees require a tropical climate with a reasonable amount of rain. They are somewhat tall and have numerous branches that extend upwards. In the spring the trees grow long, pale-yellow flowers on the ends of their branches. When pollinated, they gradually turn into fruit with a thick, knobby, green skin. The fruit is roughly the size and shape of a softball and is ready to be picked when the skin yields slightly to the touch and there is a white, yellow, or red tint between the knobs. Fruit that fully ripens on the tree will fall apart. The skin can easily be pulled apart to reveal white, juicy flesh with the consistency of custard and a floral, tropical flavor. The flesh is divided into numerous segments containing a single oblong black seed that is toxic and should not be consumed.

Fresh sweet-sop fruits keep well in a fridge for about a week. The fruit can also be frozen, but it does not hold up well to cooking. As expected with a name like sweet-sop, the white flesh is extremely sweet and juicy and is typically eaten using the rind as a makeshift bowl. Chunks of the fruit are also an interesting addition to a fruit salad. The fruit can also be pressed through a sieve and the juice can be added to drinks or ice cream.



http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/sugar_apple.html

Sweet"-sop` (?), n. Bot.

A kind of custard apple (Anona squamosa). See under Custard.

 

© Webster 1913.

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