AN "oustandingly large crop" in New South Wales is how one leading custard apple grower has described part of the 2019 season.
The Australian custard apple season kicked off in March in line with the full moon, with new season produce already available in store.
Northern Rivers custard apple grower, Patti Stacey, said the industry was experiencing a near-to-perfect season, with fruit just as sweet and plentiful as usual.
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"The increased heat in NSW has resulted in an outstandingly large crop, and Queensland has had enough rain now to last until the end of the season," Ms Stacey said.
"These growing conditions have resulted in fruit that will be as sweet as ever, and we expect an abundance of custard apples to be available nation-wide from early April."
Despite recent adverse weather conditions taking its toll on farmers, the quality and quantity of Aussie custard apples remain unaffected.
"All states are reporting great crop, and there has been minimal impact by these extreme weather events," Ms Stacey said.
"The season is looking promising, and we're all excited for some delicious, fresh Aussie custard apples to hit stores."
According to the Australian Horticulture Statistics Handbook, Australia produced 1693 tonnes of custard apples to June 2018, valued at $6.5 million.
Growers exported 85 tonnes of fruit worth $400,000.
Custard apples are an excellent source of vitamin C, with one serve containing 64.5mg, or 161 per cent of the daily target for Australian adults.
Custard Apples Australia has encouraged consumers to enjoy their fruit in a variety of ways by issuing the following tips:
- Simply cut or tear the fruit apart and scoop out the flesh to enjoy it fresh
- Enjoy custard apple with yogurt and nuts for a sweet, but nutritious breakfast
- Custard apples taste delicious in smoothies, and they help to give it a creamy texture
- Mix fresh custard apple and pears into a baked crumble for a delicious dessert that the whole family will love
- Try adding custard apples into your stir-fries and curries for a flavourful twist on your favourite meals
- For a more decadent treat try a homemade chocolate and custard apple sorbet
- Serve custard apple chutney with your favourite grilled meats. It pairs perfectly with pork
- Take your morning toast to the next level by topping it with ricotta and sweet custard apples