Ready? It’s about custard apple.
It turns out my cousin’s husband is a wizard when it comes to flora and fauna. Recently he’s invested himself in planting a large variety of edibles, and it goes well beyond mint and rosemary.
I had the pleasure of running into him recently and excitedly asked to confirm the happy rumor that he had planted custard apple, the fruit so many in our family crave and pine after being so far away from Pakistan now. He explained that he had indeed, but then he also explained something I didn’t know. Custard Apple is a loosely used term for different varieties of this fruit family, and the variety I love so much is often attributed another name.
He told me that what is referred to in the United States as “custard apple” is one variety (pictured above), and what we refer to as custard apple in countries like Pakistan and India (and others) is actually called the Sugar Apple (also pictured above). So my favorite fruit is the now-corrected Sugar Apple.
He somehow managed to find it and plant it, but the problem wasn’t the plant or growing conditions. It was the bees.
The flower of the Sugar Apple is harder to pollinate here. The bees that exist in the areas that the fruit is native to are small enough to pollinate the flower. In the United States, the bees are much larger, in fact too large to get into the flower and pollinate it. That’s why it’s difficult cultivating it here.
I wish he could have written this entry as his storytelling was firsthand and much better than mine, but it was so interesting—I felt a burst of delight learning all of this. Had to share.
Oh and I might just have to name my daughter Annona. Heads up, kid.
[Image 1: flickr.com/photos/3point141/10792224246; Image 2: wikipedia]
I came back from Vancouver fascinated with bears, wanting to learn more about them. Consequently I ran into a series called Wild Canada, that captures the great landscapes and wildlife of Canada.
Interestingly the first bear introduced was the Spirit, or Kermode Bear. These bears are known to exist only in forests of British Columbia. Spirit Bears are neither albino nor related to Polar Bears, but actually a form of the North American Black Bear. A recessive gene, when occurring in both parents, results in this white colored fur.
They feed mostly on berries and salmon and are endangered. Today only an estimated 100-200 exist.