When we were in Brazil we felt like we were in a paradise of exotic fruit, and we certainly tasted a few unique varieties. When we arrived in Portugal, we put our hunt for exotic fruits aside. However, we were stopped in our tracks by an exotic Portuguese fruit that bore a striking resemblance to the Brazilian sugar apple, the anona. When we saw the distinctive green nubby shell in the grocery store we did a double take. It looked like a sugar apple, but with less nubs. The greengrocer informed us it was from the island of Madeira, and was ripe when soft. After two days, we broke the anona open, and like the sugar apple, it had white fleshy nodes surrounding large black seeds. The flavor, while similar, tasted a bit more like banana. We were happy to find the anona though it gave us saudades for the sugar apple.
Tag Archives: sugar apple
…AKA the Fruta-do-conde or the Sugar Apple. Having been in Brazil for a month, we still don’t know exactly what the proper name for this fruit is, but we know we like it. Here, we are finally getting used to the concept of buying fruits unripened, so the first time we bought a pinha, we didn’t understand what the big deal was. It tasted hard and bland, like an unsweetened pear. But then we figured out we had not let it ripen enough. To properly enjoy a Sugar Apple, you need to let it almost overripen, to the point where the fruit becomes so soft you can squeeze it open with a slight press of your hand. The days passed with anticipation, and we finally got it right. You can gently peel off the green outer layer, and squeeze out the flesh right onto a plate.
Sugar apples are filled with 50 or so black seeds, each of which is coated with a generous helping of flesh. Just pop the seeds into your mouth and squeeze the fruit off. The flesh hits notes like a very sweet, sugary pear; the sugar so dense you can practically feel the crystals in your mouth. It’s a great afternoon snack, and easy to store once you’ve squeezed out all the seeds. They are so readily available in Brazil, we’ll be sad when we have to head home, but we did read recently they are trying to grow the fruit in Florida, so we’ll see!