Custard apple (Ashta)

December 2, 2012  •  Category:


Greengrocer’s stalls are filled with these custard apples, called ashta in Lebanon and grown locally in coastal areas. Best to buy them still firm and let them ripen at home; their flesh will yield to gentle pressure and the fruit is the sweetest and creamiest you have ever tasted. Maybe that is why they are called ashta here,  the Arabic word for cream.

In the US they are grown in some areas (California) and are sold in farmer’s markets; the ones I have bought from supermarkets in the past had been extremely disappointing, so best to get in touch with a grower and buy directly online. They are picked in the Winter. 




19 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Belinda @zomppa says:

    Wow! I have never seen these before! Would love to try!!

  2. ahu says:

    Never seen this fruit before – will keep my eye open!!

  3. The gold digger says:

    Those look like cherimoyas, which I grew to love when I lived in Chile. I almost never see them here (in the US) and when I do, they are very expensive. So, so yummy.

  4. A Canadian Foodie says:

    Never seen, nor heard of this fruit! I am keeping my eye out now! I am very consistent about buying produce I have never seen just for a taste – so it is good to know how it is supposed to taste!

  5. sippitysup says:

    I do see these regularly here in California. They look like a cherimoya and may in fact be related. GREG

  6. Banana Wonder says:

    Cherimoya? This should be made into an amazing ice cream!

  7. Family cook says:

    Custard apples are abundantly found in winters in India and are very cheap during the season. Miss them now:( Thanks for brining back memories

  8. says:

    Love custard apples! Sometimes I am lucky enough to find them at my local Arabic store here in San Diego, but they’re usually about $5 each. Ouch!

  9. Wizzy says:

    Be still my heart I love these. We call them sugar apples and I actually have a tree but it hasn’t put any out yet. Gonna give that tree a stern talking to right now!

  10. Susan says:

    I’ve never seen a fruit like this! The name sounds delicious,.

  11. MaryAthenes says:

    Je n’avais jamais vu ces fruits-la…
    Je ne t’ai pas oublie mais sort d’une grippe, demain je m’en occupe !
    Bises d’Athenes

  12. domi says:

    Ils viennent de Mars où bien d’ailleurs…E.T maison…

  13. Patty says:

    We have those in Venezuela, they are called chirimoyas and we prepare them as ice cream, sorbet, juice and milkshake 🙂

  14. Priya says:

    Custard Apples.. very commonly found in India in all the states.
    Lovely sweet, creamy texture to it.:)

  15. tammy says:

    I totally agree with Priya. Custard apples can be easily found in India.

  16. kiara says:

    hello! i really liked your post. please share some more.

  17. Michel Nohra says:

    Custard apple trees grow in Lebanon. Custard apple or Ashta starts to be found in the Lebanese market in November. The price in the local market is in the range of US$ 2-6 per kg. The Lebanese custard apple fruits are really yummy.
    A custard apple is ripe if it gives slightly when gently pressed. It can be bought ready to eat, or still hard to the touch. If so, allow to ripen over several days before eating.

  18. Joumana Accad says:

    Thank you Michel for sharing detailed info about the ashta, one of my favorite food in the world!

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