One afternoon my son called me using a cellphone and asked if my reception was clear. It was loud and clear, alright, and he explained that it should be because he was atop the atis tree in front of our house. I almost didn't believe him, since how could he be atop the atis tree when its stems - note stem, not trunk - were so puny. It isn't even a tree but a thin shrub.
And then my maternal instinct kicked in and told him to get off the atis immediately. An atis is good for eating, not climbing.
Right now our atis is laden with light green fruit. When small they were almost invisible, as they had the same color as the stems and leaves. So we were a bit surprised when suddenly large ones were hanging from the tips of twigs.
Most had bulging rind all around and looked ready to burst, like a collection of small round yeasted dough that had undergone proofing, a good indication that they're mature and almost ready to eat. We've harvested quite a few, with many more still plumping up hanging from the shrub's spare canopy.
The fruits are not kid-friendly, though, being riddled with hard, obsidian seeds. I like the tangy-custard flesh, like custard mixed with home-made yogurt, sweet enough to attract black ants to come in droves. A bit sandy in texture.
The English name - custard apple - is apt, but the more common names are sugar apple or sweetsop (Annona squamosa).