Pune, a city in Maharashtra, India, is renowned for its custard apples, locally known as "Sitaphal" or "Sharifa." These delightful fruits flourish in Pune's warm climate and are highly sought after for their unique flavor and texture.
Custard apples found in Pune are visually appealing, with oval or heart-shaped bodies and a bumpy or knobby green skin. As they ripen, their skin develops a yellowish or brownish tinge, indicating their readiness to be enjoyed.
Once opened, the custard apple reveals its creamy white or pale yellow flesh, which resembles the texture of custard or pudding. The flesh is incredibly smooth and velvety, offering a mouthwatering experience. Its flavor is a delightful blend of tropical goodness, combining notes of banana, pineapple, and strawberry with subtle hints of citrus undertones. The sweetness is balanced, creating a harmonious taste.
Apart from their deliciousness, custard apples provide numerous health benefits. They are low in calories and rich in essential nutrients, including dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants. These nutrients support digestion, boost the immune system, and contribute to overall well-being.
In Pune, custard apples are enjoyed fresh, with locals and visitors savoring the fruit by scooping out the flesh with a spoon. They are also used in various culinary preparations, including fruit salads, milkshakes, smoothies, ice creams, custards, and pastries. Pune's bustling fruit markets offer an opportunity to indulge in the pleasure of tasting perfectly ripe custard apples and experiencing their captivating aroma.
In summary, custard apples thrive in Pune, offering a visually appealing fruit with creamy flesh and a delightful tropical flavor. They are enjoyed fresh or incorporated into a variety of culinary creations. Pune's custard apples are a local treasure, adding to the city's culinary heritage and providing a unique taste experience for all who try them.