Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Feijoa (Also known as Pineapple Guava)
First to fall on to the ground were a couple of medium sized fruits from the tree by the veggie garden. That was March 27. Every day thereafter, we gather an average of one and a half kilos a day. Almost a month since then, we still gather as much amount of feijoa every day, but expect the quantity to gradually diminish until the feaijoa season ends in June.
The first time I saw a feijoa fruit in 2004, I got really excited because it looked very much like the guava, which I love and sorely miss to this day. I wasn't particularly impressed the first time I was introduced to its taste though. My husband, David, cut one feijoa in half and scooped the jelly-like pulp in the center and asked me to try it. It didn't taste too bad, but found it a little bland and unappealing. Or probably, because it looked like the guava, I was expecting a sweet taste with a hint of tartness that we find in most of our fruits back home. It did not meet my expectations so I did not give it another try that year to my husband's disappointment. He soooo loves the feijoa --on its own or with ice cream and whipped cream (!!!) and wished we would enjoy it together.
The following year, there were just too many fruits falling on to the ground, it was a pity I couldn't appreciate them. But David never gave up asking me to give it another try. So I did, to please him. But this time, instead of cutting it in half and scooping the jelly-like pulp, I peeled the thin skin, sliced it thinly and sprinkled a little salt like I would with guava or mango. And it worked! It tasted so much nicer than the first time I tried it. I have since been enjoying the feijoa with my husband, although, I still do not like it with my ice cream.
But here is a better way to enjoy feijoa:
250 gms feijoa peeled and chopped coarsely
1 cup milk
2 cubes glazed ginger (or a thumbnail size fresh ginger)
2 cups cubed ice
Put everything together in a blender and process to a smoothie. Adjust sweetness according to taste.
Rich in Vitamin C with a sugar content of 6 percent, the feijoa usually falls on to the ground before it is ripe. So they have to be gathered and held in store until their flavor has fully developed. When the fruit has turned slightly soft and the jellied sections in the center becomes clear, (which may take 2 to 5 days after natural fruit drop), it is ready to be eaten. the feijoa is still unripe when the jelly-like pulp is still white, but past its best when it starts browning at the center.
I don't really know how to describe the taste, but the jelly like substance in the center of the fruit has a distinctive sweet/sour flavor and the flesh around it is granular and a bit tart. Its other name is "pineapple guava", and some say it has a rich, guava-like flavor with a hint of strawberry and pineapple, but I can't really tell.
Depending on its variety, the feijoa, which is about 5 centimeters long, may be oblong or round and looks very similar to the guava. It is green in color even when ripe, with a thin, tough, waxy skin. Cut in half, the fruit has white or yellow-green flesh around a jelly-like pulp, in which very tiny seeds are embedded. The feijoa, byt he way, is native to southern Brazil, northern Argentin,a western Paraguay and Urugua. In the 1920's it was intoroduced to New Zealand where it is now grown organically.
posted by Mel @ Wednesday, April 19, 2006 4 comments links to this post