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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Feijoa season

Time for another educational spot from Down Under.....
It's the right time of the year to be hit on the head by a ripe feijoa, as you walk under a feijoa tree. Feijoas were introduced into New Zealand in the 1920`s. This fruit originated in Southern Brazil, and was named after the Brazilian botanist, Joam da Silva Feijo. In some countries the feijoa is called "pineapple guava" or “guavasteen”. New Zealand's ideal climate produces large fruit, and because of few pests, it means that the feijoa is able to be grown organically (chemical sprays aren’t applied to New Zealand fruit, making NZ feijoas some of the most natural fruit available). The New Zealand season runs from late March to June (autumn).

The fruit is shaped like an egg that has been sat upon….lightly! It has a sweet, distinctive flavour with overtones of pineapple and guava. When the fruit is immature the seed pulp is white and opaque. The fruit is at its optimum maturity when the seed pulp has turned into a clear jelly with no hint of browning. Once the seed pulp starts to brown, the fruit is overmature and shouldn't be eaten. Fruit maturity is not always apparent from the outside as the fruits remain green until they are overmature or rotting….I’m sure there is some moral parallel that can be drawn about some people from this! Certainly makes for shifty sales at the fruit shop when they know full well that they got a truckload of feijoas in, weeks ago! A feijoa can also be used as an addition to a fruit smoothie, and can be used to make feijoa wine. It is also possible to buy Feijoa yoghurt, fruit drinks, ice-cream, fruit leather etc. in New Zealand. The Feijoa can also be frozen, cooked, and used in dishes where one would use stewed fruit eg. chutney….if the fruit lasts long enough to do more to it than just eating it straight away, in a household of hungry, fruit-loving boys who gobble up anything in sight!

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