Sugar Apple


Slither. In an attempt to kill you (albeit slowly) by tempting you to eat subtropical fruit, may I present the Sugar Apple? This is a rhetorical question so you needn’t answer, but the fact that you are still reading tells me that you either have an interest in rare fruit or that you have far too much time on your hands (those long, Medusa-like fingers). Whatever! I do not discriminate. Who am I to find fault in your lolling (now a double entendre due to those pesky internet acronyms—oh, I don’t discriminate against those either: discriminate is far too placid a term) on a velveteen settee, laptop aflutter, gathering information (some gossip too, I should expect) like a bee collects pollen.

And you most certainly recognized the word apple, whose job (pun intended) it is to evoke yummy pies, Adam and Eve—slither or, with elfin flexibility, computer savoir-faire–if you despise PCs. That’s a good start. Yet it should be said that the common names of plants are about as useful as your appendix. For the out-of-work botanist (most are) this one is called Annona squamosa–so much easier to remember than Sugar Apple (I’m not winning this argument, am I?)

The reason you won’t see one at the supermarket is that most Annonas don’t travel well and, once at the market, if they ever get there, have a short shelf life (three or four nanoseconds, but I don’t have a reference for this). And whereas Sugar Apple is a pleasant name, ‘putrefied mush’ isn’t—which is exactly what it is by the time your grocer shovels it onto the fruit stand, next to firm, irrepressibly taut mangoes and full-bodied bananas, yellower than Van Gogh’s sunflowers.

And here’s the worrying part: fruit of the Annonaceae family (evidently one botanist is still employed) contain acetogenins. Now it isn’t important for you to know that acetogenics inhibit mitochondrial respiration and can lead to Parkinson’s Disease-like symptoms if the fruit is consumed daily (probably hyperbole but better sssafe than sssorry), the sound of ‘acetogenics’ alone should give you the creeps. Sibilance.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that if you are ever lucky enough to be presented with a Sugar Apple at its peak, it is a paradisiacal adventure in taste.



  1. Well, it looks beautiful too.
    Apparently all those other apples contain enough sprayed-on chemicals (most of them) to slowly (?) kill us also. Eating is hard!


  2. The tempting apple – hmm, what to do? Maybe having the fruit only once a year would allow one to enjoy the pure incredible pleasures that surely this Sugar Apple brings on . . .


  3. that is such a beautiful photo!!! you even got the table surface to match the hues of the fruit and its flesh!

    (and i laugh as hard as i did the first time when i read this :-). i think it is a wonderful idea, to torment and kill us (but very slowly) with such presentations of tropical fruits one could only dream of in such countries like Poland…


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