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AU: Australians developing a taste for custard apples
Jackson Agricultural Company is based in the state's Glasshouse Mountain region and says the green-skinned fruit has become a tasty tropical choice throughout autumn and winter.
"I believe the demand is increasing, particularly in New South Wales and Queensland," Angela Jackson said. "Australian’s are starting to discover the delicious flavour of custard apples, so we’re getting more and more custard apple lovers each season."
Custard apple growing regions spread from the Atherton Tablelands to Northern NSW, and while the company grows Mountain Produce custard apples, Ms Jackson says the season has been excellent across all growing regions so far.
"For us, we’ve had a very successful season," she said. "Our harvest started in the second last week of February and is still going, with plenty of fruit coming through. It’s been a similar harvest in the North QLD region and NSW are just coming into their season now. Overall it’s been a good season weather-wise. The warm summer has given us a bumper crop and we’ve been lucky to have no major storms, floods or winds come through."
Australian custard apple production has been increasing each year, and she expects the momentum to continue despite a slowdown in tree plantings.
"We currently have a shortage on buying new plant stock, so it’s hard for people to plant new trees at the moment," Ms Jackson said. "However, in past years there was quite an increase in plantings which means that there is plenty of fruit growing for custard apples lovers to enjoy, especially as the plants continue to mature."
Fellow custard apple grower, Patti Stacey, says this year’s fruit boasts an extra sweet flavour.
“When the fruit matures in warmer weather it makes it even sweeter, so this season’s fruit has a deliciously sweet flavour and is filling out well," she said. "During the season I eat one every day for breakfast. It’s a delicious start to the day and because it’s low GI it satisfies my appetite for quite a long time."
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