What fruit is called a sugar apple?

If you’re looking for a fruit that’s both sweet and spiky, then look no further than the sugar apple. But what exactly is this tropical treat? And why does it have such a funny name? In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about the mysterious sugar apple.

A Brief Introduction to the Sugar Apple

The sugar apple is a fruit native to tropical regions like South America, the Caribbean, and Asia. It’s also known by many other names, including custard apple (because of its creamy texture), sweetsop (because it’s so darn sweet), and even bullock’s heart (’cause… well, nobody really knows why).

Here are some quick facts to get us started:

  • The scientific name for the sugar apple is Annona squamosa.
  • It belongs to the same family as cherimoya and soursop.
  • The flesh of the fruit is white or yellow in color and has a sweet taste reminiscent of pineapple or strawberry.
  • The outside of the fruit looks like an oddly-shaped pinecone covered in green spikes.

Now that we’ve got some basic info out of the way, let’s dig deeper into what makes this fruit so special.

Why Do They Call it a Sugar Apple Anyway?

You might be wondering where on earth such a lovely sounding name came from. After all apples certainly don’t come with thorns!

The truth is there isn’t one clear answer. Some people say it was named after sugarcane because of its sweetness; others speculate that it comes from an old Portuguese word for “pimp” (not sure where they’re going with this) because of its rough exterior; while still others claim that early settlers simply called it an “Indian fig” until someone more creative came along (ahh boring).

Regardless of how its name came about though, there’s no denying that the sugar apple is a delicious and unique fruit.


As we’ve mentioned before, the outside of the sugar apple is covered in green spikes (you know, kind of like a sea urchin but with edible bits). The skin is fairly tough, which makes it difficult to cut into (Beware!).

Once you get past this prickly layer though, you’ll find white or yellow flesh arranged in segments like an orange. Each fleshy bit contains a black seed in the middle.

The seeds aren’t typically eaten as they’re crunchy and bitter (You’re better off spitting them out).

Here’s what else you can expect from its appearance:

  • A fully ripe sugar apple will be slightly soft to touch.
  • The skin will start turning brown when it’s ready to be consumed
  • It generally grows between 2 and 4 inches long — about the size of an avocado

Taste Profile

Now let’s jump into why people love eating this sweet spiky ball – taste.

If there’s one thing everyone agrees on when it comes to describing this tropical delight, it’s that it’s incredibly sweet. In fact some persons say too sweet!

Sugar apples have a nuanced flavor palette though. Think pineapple meets banana meets mango meets strawberry — very complex for such unassuming looks , right?

One reason why many people love indulging in these fruits are because they evoke fond memories since they were always treats growing up or even now whenever someone vacationed/visited certain countries . So each time one bites into this exotic fruit – their senses come alive reminding them of carefree days by pools or beaches …

How do you describe something so amazing?

Other characteristics include:

  • Soft texture: Sugar apples have soft creamy textures – almost custard-like (#Hence Custard Apple)
  • Fragrant aroma: This fruit has quite an intense fragrance depending on its ripeness.
  • High sugar content: As the name suggests, this fruit is chock-full of natural sugars. In fact, it’s estimated that 100 grams of sugar apple contain over 25 grams of carbohydrates – So better watch your sugar intake around these babies
  • Low in calories and fat: On the other hand, an entire cup contains just 130 calories without any added fats – yes watching your portions with these can do wonders!


While we’re all Busying ourselves devouring these tasty snacks , let’s spare a thought for those who are busy growing them . Sugar apples grow on small to medium-sized evergreen trees.

Here are some interesting tidbits about cultivation:

  • The tree thrives in tropical climates (#not shockingnews), specifically regions that have high humidity and rainfall.
  • They grow best in well-drained soils with adequate moisture.
  • Trees bear fruit after two to three years from planting (patience is key ); And each tree could produce between one and six million fruits per year– talk about a fruitful business

So guys if you’re thinking about cultivating or starting an orchard – be prepared for huge yield possibilities!

Nutritional Value

Let’s not forget the nutritional value though.

Sugar apples actually happen to be packed with nutrients. But how much exactly?

One cup (148 grams) provides approximately:

Nutrient Amount
Fiber 5g
Carbs 31g
Manganese 28%DV
Riboflavin 12%DV
Thiamine 11%DV
Potassium 8%DV

That means that consuming just one serving may give you more than half the daily recommended fiber intake. It also has trace amounts of minerals such as calcium, iron and copper which aids blood circulation .

Guess what-there’s more: The fruit is also loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C which guards the body against inflammation and cancer. So there you have it- a sweet and healthy treat for anyone looking to boost their nutrient intake.

How to Eat Sugar Apple

So far we’ve covered every aspect of sugar apples except how best they should be eaten! Here are some popular ways:

  1. Halve it – You can either cut it in half lengthwise or across and scoop out the flesh using a spoon.

  2. Juice It Up – Blend pulp with milk or any liquid base of choice (almond, soya etc)to make smoothies (#yum)

3.Chop ‘em up – Cut into bite sized pieces an add in salads, pies or even eat as is

4.Make Ice Cream – Eager bakers can substitute cream from vanilla ice cream recipes with mashed sugar apples and voila — easy but delicious homemade surprise!

5.Jamming session – Capsule them with brown sugar and lemon juice/marmalade/ honey/etc for tasty preserve jars .(#perfect sweet accompaniment to crusty breads & crackers )

Interesting fact: According to online sources (so take that as you may ?) , natives from certain countries believe that eating too much sugarcane actually provokes chronic despair…something about
Sugar apple being served on a plate symbolises one’s luck enough not to live out of sugarcane..(LOL)

Safety Precautions / Warnings

As always, safety first when savouring fresh fruits .

Here are some precautions :

  • The seeds contain toxic substances so avoid ingesting them
  • If allergic reactions occur(WHEEEZE), discontinue immediately!
  • Fruit flies LOVE(don’t know where this came from ) …lightly spraying your fruit before handling keeps such pests at bay
  • Take care cutting through its skin so that the spikes don’t pierce skin.

Before indulging, check with your physician especially if you have any dietary or medical conditions that carry fruit precaution warnings.

In Closing …

The sugar apple is an underappreciated tropical fruit that deserves more love – we even gave it a multi-feature piece. But as delicious and unique as it is, eating too much can be harmful to your health(so keep moderation in mind )

So go ahead and experiment –use our quick tips to make use of its versatile nature…But also heed caution (as always) .

So what are you waiting for? Go hunt down this spiky ball of sweetness and enjoy these exotic gems! (and send some my way while at it 😊)