Try These 5 Exotic Apples
The variety of apples sold in supermarkets boggles one’s mind yet the world has so much more to offer. These 5 exotic apples are truly unique and different from the supermarket offerings. Give them all a try:
1. Sour Apple
The Santol is native to Southeast Asia and has now been spread to India, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Indonesia. You’ll find two varieties, the yellow and the red referring to the different colored leaves of each variety. With a fuzzy texture and size similar to a peach and a thin or thicker rind depending on the variety. Sometimes contain a milky juice and containing inedible brown seeds. In some cases the inner pulp is sweet or sour while in others the pulp near the outer rind is spooned out for a delightful sweet or sour taste.
2. Wood Apple
Grown in a similar geography as the Sour Apple in some camps it is called the Elephant-Apple. Reportedly it has medicinal properties and when ripe will have a brown speckled wooden like shell that appears to be similar to tree bark. The people of Southeast Asia determine it’s ripeness using the bounce test (drop it on a hard surface and if it bounces it is not ripe yet). If you are a person that uses smell as the determinant of ripeness look for a sugary – musky odor. The pulp of a ripe apple should be light brown in color. Tasting similar to a tamarind it has a pungent, lemony, acidic and sweet taste and a pleasant fermented aftertaste. If you prefer a more tart or sour taste pick a smaller size.
3. Water Apple
Widely cultivated in the tropics the water apple originated in the Sunda Islands, and the Malay Peninsula. Juicy with flesh the consistency of a crunchy watermelon it is delightful once chilled. Like many fruits if it is not ripe the taste will be very astringent. Like the apples of Europe and North America there is a small core with little seeds surrounded by tasteless flesh.
4. Sugar Apple
With a thick scaly rind and a creamy, sweet pulp that comes apart in segments it contains a black seed. The common color is green but more recently a red variety has become popular. With a minty custardy flavor has a delicate and delightful taste.
Native to the tropical areas of the Americas and West Indies and spread to Asia by Spanish traders. It is called by various derivatives of the old Mexican name “ate” and is called “atis” in the Philippines.
5. Star Apple
Aromatic with a sweet tropical flavor with hints of lychee, apple and persimmon the star apple’s eleven seed cells form what looks like a star when the fruit is cut in half. There purple to red or yellow to green varieties that both deliver a soft, creamy white pulp.
A tropical tree native to the West Indies and Greater Antilles it has spread to Central America and Southeast Asia. Some may be difficult to find so be sure to check the local Asian market and ask if you can’t find what you are looking for.