Guava

Guava

Plural:
Guavas
Family:
Myrtaceae – Myrtle family
Species:
Psidium guajava

Origin

Guavas come from an area, which stretches as a wide belt from Mexico to the West-Indian Islands all the way to Brazil. They were obviously cultivated a very long time ago: The Spaniard Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo reported the fruit in 1526 in his natural history of refining from breeding cultivated varieties planted by the South American Indians. The Spanish brought the plants to the Philippines and the Portuguese imported them to India. In 1912, The first commercial guava plantation was grown in Florida.

Plant

The original 3 to 10 m high trees with strong branches are held low in plantations like shrubs. The fruit develops from the small white blooms with stamens that stand like dense fronds above the petals, the fruits develop — depending on variety — very differently in shape, colour and flavour.

Cultivation

Today, guavas grow in all tropical and subtropical countries where large and small, sweet and sour, seedless and slightly seeded varieties are cultivated.

Importations

They are imported all the year round from Colombia and Brazil, white-meaty guavas come from Israel in Autumn, red-meaty varieties are mainly imported from South Africa. Other suppliers are Thailand, India and Pakistan.

Fruit

Edible:
The fruit and seeds.
Better remove:
The skin.
Odour:
It is typical for the variety and very intense; you can smell them from a few meters away.
Flavour:
It tastes sweet and sourish, like a mixture of pear, quince and fig.
Size and shape:
They can be pear or apple-shaped.
Bowl:
The skin is pale and dark green, yellow and green-yellow.
Flesh:
It is white, yellow, green-yellow or shiny pink; due to stone cells, guavas grown in the wild are granular as with some pears. Cultivated guavas, however, have smooth flesh.
Ripeness:
The fruits have anintensive odeur, the skin bursts under light pressure; varieties with green skin become yellow with ripeness.
Overripe fruits:
They are unpleasantly soft and nauseatingly sourish.
Unripe fruits:
They feel firm and are odourless.

Usage

The fruit may be consumed raw as well put in sweet and hearty salads.They can also be mashed for fruit sauces, creams or drinks or stewed for compote.

Storage

Ripe fruits may be put it the fridge for a maximum of two days, but in any case they should be separated from fruit and other foodstuffs. At post-maturation they should be stored at room temperature.