Asda is claiming a UK first with the launch of cherimoya – an exotic fruit the supermarket describes as having the flavour of toffee custard and the texture of sherbet.

Also known as custard apples – although they are, in fact, not apples – the fruit is native to South America and particularly popular in Spain.

Asda is sourcing its cherimoya from southern Spain through its IPL direct-sourcing arm and is selling them in packs of two for £2.47.

Asda said it decided to bring cherimoya to the UK because its customers were becoming increasingly adventurous when buying fruit, with sales of persimmon, pomegranates and lychees up significantly in recent weeks.

“As soon as the team first tasted custard apples, we knew we had to bring them across for our shoppers to enjoy,” said Asda’s Helen Lear. “We’re certain that the custard apple will become a fruit bowl staple before long.”