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Who ate my herbs?

>> Sunday, April 01, 2007

Weeks ago I featured some small herbs that I grew in my balcony. Everything went well until one morning I found that the new basil and dill leaves were eaten! At first I thought the birds destroyed my plants but they didn’t. The one who ate my basil and dill was this cute little possum, who we named Pat for now.

My flatmate found him hiding under the clothing we hung out earlier. It was a cold afternoon so that was a pretty warm place to sleep. Anyway, Pat is a Ringtail Possum which is very common here in Australia. They like to eat leaves (yes, I know that now!) and adapt well to live close to human. I have seen them at night sometimes, but never as close as this time. Look, he is hiding is face behind the long curly tail saying “No more photo, please!” How cute! :D When the night came Pat left (possum is nocturnal) and we haven’t seen him since. I am really fond of him although he did destroy my growing herbs! Oh well, we all share the love for herbs/vegies I guess…

Because Pat ate my herbs, I nearly miss out Weekend Herb Blogging, which retuns home to Kalyn this week! So instead of cooking something using herbs/vegies, I would like to feature one of my favourite tropical fruits – custard apples (also known as sugar apples).

Despite its name, custard apples do not resemble apples in anyway. With the pale green and reticulated skin, they do not look very attractive, either. But do not let the look fool you. Custard apples are one of the sweetest and most delicious fruits I have ever tasted! The interior flesh is white, juicy and extremely sweet. The taste and texture do resemble custard in some way. There are also some hard shiny seeds inside, which are normally black or brown.

The custard apples I bought are from Bundaberg, Queensland. They are huge in size compared with the ones I used to have in Vietnam. The taste and texture are excellent though. One nice thing is this variety does not contain a lot of seeds, which make it easier to eat.

Buying custard apples are just like with avocado. The best way is to choose the firm and green-looking ones, bring it home and let the fruits ripen at room temperature for several days. Custard apples are ready to eat when they are softer.

I enjoy custard apples as they are - fresh without any preparation. Pat the Possum, however, misses out on this since custard apples are too good to share!


Cindy 8:25 PM  

Amazing photos of your little possum, Anh! I just noticed the custard apples out at the markets on Saturday morning and will have to pick some up soon.

Gattina 8:29 PM  

oh my gosh, I haven't seen wild animal in such a close distant, he sure loved your camera :D
I know how you felt when you discovered your herbs being eaten... mine was thai basil (first time success on yard), but next morning the whole shoot was nipped *sigh* But I admired that animal had the same good taste as mine *lol*
And the custard apple! Anh!!! You're fantastic, you bring me back my childhood memory! I don't care about people saying it's ugly, or too many seeds... just bit it, one of the best fruit!

Angie 11:19 PM  

A cute possum you 'caught' Anh :p

Yes, what better way to enjoy the freshest fruits, just savour it, au natural.

Kalyn 12:20 AM  

I'm amazed you could get such close shots of the possum. Where I live there are raccoons which sometimes get into people's homes. So far I've been lucky not to have any because they're a bit of a pest.

Never heard of custard apple. It looks so interesting. You know I'm excited to learn about something new!

Brilynn 2:29 AM  

I was first introduced to custard apples when I was in Australia and I loved them immediately. Unfortunately, they're hard to find and ridiculously expensive here :(

burcu 12:19 PM  

interesting post: I'd never seen possum or custard apple through such close shots! Great pictures.
I will look for custard apples and try one

Precious Moments 12:21 PM  

ooohhhhh this is so cute.

Anh 4:31 PM  

Cindy, do try the custard apples out! They are heavenly. :)

Gattina, :D The possum just ignored us really. He was busy sleeping I guess. :P And I agree with you on custard apples.

Angie, thanks pal. :)

Kalyn, I found that it was amazing to get a close up at the possum, too. It is only found in Australia, you see?

Brilynn, come over to Australia or any Asian countries. You can have as much as you want. :D

Burcu, thank you.

Edith, *wink*. Yeah, he looks kinda cute.

Patricia Scarpin 10:46 PM  

Anh, I didn't know the name of this fruit in English! :)

My mom loved it so much. We could eat 3-4 at once. ;)

Sharmi 3:18 AM  

Hi Anh, The Possom looks cute. They usually stink right?
Btw the custard apples are found in plenty in India. They are very yummy tasting and is called Sita phal(phal means fruit).
I am getting ready for my WHB.


Genie 3:19 AM  

I've had custard apples (sold in stores in the US often as cherimoya) before, but not for a long time -- they are truly an incredible treat. I'm a big fan.

Thanks for the reminder that I should check out our local market to see if maybe there's a cherimoya or two in stock. I bet it'll be pricey, but as a once-in-awhile treat, worth the spendiness.

That possum is so cute, by the way!

simcooks 9:27 AM  

I like custard apples! I only ate them when I visited my friend living in Sydney. I brought some home to Singapore (gosh they were heavy!) and they ripened very quickly when kept in plastic bags!

Anh 10:00 AM  

Particia, glad to know that you & your mom love custard apples, too!

Sharmi, the possum is ok. Like kangaroo, they are protected animals here in Australia.

Genie, thanks for the info. The custard apple prices are quite reasonable at the moment since we are in season.

Simcooks,yes, they tend to ripe quickly. But I am quicker at eating them :P

sher 12:12 PM  

I think Pat is a doll--and obviously a foodie!!! She wanted more herbs from you. :):)

I've heard of custard apples, but never had them. I hope I get the opportunity some day.

Lydia 11:46 PM  

Cute possum... maybe I should put some herbs at my balcony too. hehe

In Singapore, custard apple is a.k.a sour soup. I dont know how it gets its name but I know sour soup's juice is sooooooo nice!

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