What Is A Feijoa?

Explains what a feijoa is and where and how it is grown. Also includes common uses for the feijoa fruit.

The feijoa, also known as the pineapple guava and the guavasteen, is an exotic and interesting fruit that is native to South America (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) and is also grown in New Zealand and in the United States, in California and Florida. It is a sweet fruit whose taste is similar to a combination of the following fruits: banana, strawberry, guava, and pineapple.

Feijoa fruits are grown in subtropical regions where the climate is mild, and are produced from the feijoa tree, which is a small evergreen that can grow up to 12 feet in height. The tree is fairly hardy and resistant to many diseases and pests. Additionally, the feijoa tree produces small, inch-long flowers that are white in color with some sprinkling of purple in them. These flowers bloom in the spring. Additionally, petals from the feijoa flower are edible. They are somewhat sweet in taste and are typically used as an addition to salads. Regarding feijoa fruits, the fruits appear on a feijoa tree once the tree has aged approximately three years from initial seeding.

You can recognize a feijoa fruit by its blue/green skin that varies in texture from smooth to coarse. Additionally, feijoas are oval in shape and are approximately one inch to 3 1/2 inches in length. Although you should not eat the skin of a feijoa fruit raw, you can use it as an ingredient in preserves. When you cut into a feijoa, you will see thick, juicy flesh that is either light yellow or white in color. Additionally, approximately thirty seeds are present within the flesh. These seeds are very small and can be eaten along with the flesh. The feijoa fruit is also known for its fragrant and long-lasting aroma.

You can purchase feijoas at larger supermarket chains and at specialty or gourmet fruit and vegetable stores. When purchasing a feijoa, make sure that the fruit emits a pleasant aroma and, when squeezed, is somewhat soft to the touch. Once purchased, use your feijoa as soon as possible because you can store a ripe feijoa in your home for only up to three days. You must also refrigerate ripe feijoas.

Because feijoas have a unique taste, they are typically used in fruit salad recipes that call for an especially sweet taste. They are also used as an ingredient in puddings and pies, and are excellent when used to make jams and jellies. Certain commercial manufacturers have also combined feijoas with black teas to produce a pleasant tasting fruit tea. Feijoas can also be eaten raw, provided that you first remove the outer skin. You can also make a quality tasting fruit juice from the feijoa.

Because of their sweet taste, feijoas offer a healthy and nutritious substitute to other more caloric or fatty sweet desserts and snacks. Feijoas also provide a delicious alternative to the more traditional and common fruits used in many recipes. Because of these reasons, it is worth experimenting with this fruit in cooking to explore its many diverse aspects.

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