This morning, as I came out the front door of my temporary home in Bayswater Western Australia, and wandered down the garden path to the front gate, something green and different caught my eye. Hanging underneath what I thought was some sort of small native Australian tree were green fruits.
As I peered under the branches to get a better look, I suddenly came face to face with dozens and dozens of fresh feijoas, sometimes known as “pineapple guavas”.
The feijoa tree (Feijoa sellowiana) is native to extreme southern Brazil, northern Argentina, western Paraguay and Uruguay where it is common in the mountains.
It was first recognised by western botanists in 1815, when, in southern Brazil a German explorer Freidrich Sellow came upon it. It was later introduced to Europe by French botanist and horticulturist, Dr Edouard Andre, in 1890. It was named after Brazilian botanist, Joam da Silva Feijo.
Feijoas have a distant affinity to Eugenias (Eugenia spp.), Guavas (Psidium spp.) and Jaboticaba (Myrciaria spp.).
The fruit emits a strong long-lasting perfume, even before it is fully ripe. The thick, white, granular, watery flesh and the translucent central pulp enclosing the seeds are sweet or subacid, suggesting a combination of pineapple and guava or pineapple and strawberry, often with overtones of winter green or spearmint.
The fruits freeze well, so those that don’t get eaten I will freeze and make into jam.
Posted by Kurma on 12/4/06; 4:37:29 AM