Custard Apple: The World’s Weirdest Fruit?


On our recent Taiwan road trip, we discovered the custard apple, a fruit commonly found in Taitung, Taiwan. As we were driving through the countryside, dozens of roadside stands were selling these bizarre-looking fruits. Of course, we had to pull over to try it out.

First thing to note is that two types of custard apples are commonly found in Taiwan: the big custard apple and the pineapple custard apple. They taste similar but look different on the outside and have different consistency and structure on the inside.

The second thing to note is that these fruits have a very narrow timeframe in which they should be eaten. It’s like an avocado – you wait, and wait, and wait for it to ripen… and when it does, you have to eat it almost right away before it goes bad. We bought a case of six custard apples that were still quite firm (see above) and were told we couldn’t eat them for 3 more days. On the third day…


Custard apples: found commonly in Taitung Taiwan and quite possibly the weirdest fruit. Tastes like a creamy mango pear hybrid. 🥭 🍐 🍎 #taiwan #foodie #food

♬ die (sped up) – lucidbeatz & key kelly
It’s crazy how easily they come apart, considering they were like rocks just a few days before. Note that it’s only the Big Custard Apple variety that can be pulled apart with your hands in this way. After pulling it apart, you can eat it directly with a spoon. The Pineapple Custard Apples need to be peeled and sliced and have a bit of a firmer consistency:

Both types have ginormous seeds that need to be spit out. Luckily, they separate from the fruit quite easily so it’s not too hard to eat around them, but boy are there a lot of them.

Here’s how I’d describe the taste – it’s like a mango meets pear meets papaya. The consistency ranges from custard to ripe mango. Consistency-wise it’s also been compared to a durian but it smells and tastes much better. I really loved the taste of it but the rest of the fam was neutral to slightly positive on it. Regardless, it’s a must-try when you’re visiting the Taitung region of Taiwan!

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