Custard Apples, Pomegranates, The Hage

Custard apples, pomegranates and The Hage.

What do they have in common?  Memories.  Memories of my childhood.

When I saw them today, in two different fruit and veggie shops, I had flashbacks to my childhood years.  I grew up on another continent in a little town that I’ll refer to as The Hage.  Growing up in The Hage was special and those of us that grew up there were privileged as we had a special childhood in an idyllic place.  The sad thing is that none of us thought we were privileged at the time.  We all thought we were stuck in the back end of nowhere and couldn’t wait to leave!  Now, with us all scattered around the globe, we have a special connection to each other and we can travel to all 4 corners of the world and know somebody who will put us up or advise us what to do and where to stay!  Yes, our connections to The Hage are very strong.

custard apple

Custard apples I looked forward to once a year and as I watched the developing fruit I can remember how I salivated, just waiting to taste them again.  The most disappointing thing for me was that the tree wasn’t in our garden.  I think there were 3 trees in my “aunty’s” yard.  She wasn’t a blood aunty but an aunty in my eyes.  “Aunty” and “Uncle” were very special neighbours.  They lived down the road from us, our parents were great friends, in fact my Mom and “Aunty” worked together for the same men’s outfitters in The Hage for many years.  And they looked so alike, many customers thought they were the same person, although my Mom worked in the morning and my “Aunty” worked in the afternoon!  My “Aunty” had 3 children, 5 years + older than me, but as an only child for 7 years, I always thought of them as my blood siblings!  Our families went on holidays together, we caravanned all along the coast together, our fathers built boats and fished together and even after I was married and had my first baby, we continued to caravan at our favourite places.

The custard apples used to be shared out amongst a few of us lucky neighbours.  And then the unthinkable happened.  Two of the trees had to be removed to make way for a carport that needed to be built to house the caravan!  As a young kid I was horrified as I realised there would be even less custard apple treats coming my way!  And a few years later, we moved away and “Aunty” and “Uncle” moved too and it was bye bye custard apples for me!  Don’t think I ever saw one again.  I was devastated.

So as I stood and admired the custard apples in my local fruit and veggie store this week, all these memories flooded back!  Custard apples, so nutritious and good for you.  A rich source of Vitamin C, magnesium and potassium, these apples are cardio-protective, high in anti-oxidantsants, can lower blood pressure, and are also a good source of Vitamin B6, iron, copper and dietary fibre.

As for the pomegranates, well that’s another story and involves another family, but still involves the Hage and the street we lived in, which was where the Flamingo Bakery was.  That will be another trip down memory lane on another day.  Watch this space and please share with anybody you know from The Hage as we really are lucky to have grown up there.



6 Replies to “Custard Apples, Pomegranates, The Hage”

  1. I still have a pomegranate tree in my house in UITENHAGE, have a friend , German that have a custard Apple tree. My daughter is renting my home and I give it plenty of organic fertiliser to get a good yield.

    1. Joan, when I next visit Uitenhage, I will need to sample one of your pomegranates! I love them just as much as I love custard apples and they are both so good from a nutritional point of view.

  2. What a fantastic blog, I am feeling quite tearful. It is so true that we never realised how privileged we actually were and how we could not wait to leave and yet we can still call on each other from anywhere in the world. I had such a laugh at your story about your Mom and “Aunty’s” working times and you have stirred up so many memories. Thank you for sharing and for reminding me of how blessed us “Hage” people are. I will go and buy custard apples and pomegranates now. xx

    1. I have been sitting on writing a blog of my memoirs for so long…this week the pomegranates and custard apples made me realise I needed to write it now…there is so much more to come…glad you enjoyed it. We are so privileged to have been brought up in the Hage…I don’t think there is another dorp in the world with such a huge connection amongst the inhabitants 🙂

  3. Fabulous memories Judy, thank you for resurrecting. And, of course, a whole lot more have come flooding through. Special days, not to be forgotten……

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