Feijoas (Pineapple Guavas)
Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 11:07AM
Gary Leavitt

Acca sellowiana, (Feijoas) is a species of flowering plant in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae, and is native to the highlands of southern Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, and northern Argentina. It is widely cultivated as a garden plant and fruiting tree in New Zealand, and can be found as a garden plant in Australia and Azerbaijan. Common names include Feijoa, Pineapple Guava and Guavasteen. It is an evergreen, perennial shrub (or small tree), 1 to 7 metres (3.3 to 23 ft) in height, widely cultivated as a garden plant and fruiting tree.

The fruit usually is eaten by cutting it in half, then scooping out the pulp with a spoon. The fruit has a juicy, sweet seed pulp and slightly gritty flesh nearer the skin.

A Feijoa may be used as an interesting addition to a fruit smoothie, and may be used to make wine or cider and Feijoa-infused vodka. The flavour is aromatic, very strong and complex, inviting comparison with Guava, Strawberry, pineapple, and often containing a faint wintergreen-like aftertaste. It also is possible to buy feijoa yogurt, fruit drinks, jam, ice cream, and such in New Zealand. It also may be cooked and used in dishes where one would use stewed fruit. It is a popular ingredient in chutney. The very strong, complex flavour can make using feijoas, in combination with other fruits or vegetables, a creative and complex undertaking.

When the fruit are immature, the seed pulp is white and opaque. It becomes clear and gelatinous when ripe. Fruits are at their optimum maturity when the seed pulp has turned into a clear jelly with no hint of browning. Once the seed pulp and surrounding flesh start to brown, the fruit is overripe, but still may be eaten, or used to make a delicious juice.

The flower petals are edible, with a flavor that is slightly sweet with hints of cinnamon. The most common use is as an addition to salads.

Feijoas may be cool-stored for approximately a month and still have a few days of shelf-life at optimum eating maturity. They also may be frozen for up to one year without a loss in quality.

In California, robins, mockingbirds, hummingbirds, starlings, scrub jays, towhees, and grey squirrels feast on the petals and are presumed to be assisting with pollination. Honeybees also visit the flowers.

Article originally appeared on Growing for the future! (http://deluzfarms.com/).
See website for complete article licensing information.