A couple of days ago I was at my local Whole Foods and came across feijoas (fā-yō-a, -hō-a), rhyming with balboa. However there are other pronunciations like fē-jō-a. Native to the highlands of Southern Brazil and other areas in South America, feijoas are widely cultivated as a garden plant and fruiting tree in New Zealand where the season runs from March to June. Although they’re grown in parts of Northern California, feijoas are a rare sight in the U.S. I had never heard of feijoas so I had to give them a try.
Unique and sweet, they have an aromatic flavor that tastes like a cross between a guava, pineapple and a strawberry. Some people call them pineapple guava or guavasteen. They’re slightly tart, but also sweet and juicy. The pulp looks similar to a guava, but the seeds are not as hard. Inside, the flesh is opaque and divided into a clear, gelatinous seed pulp that swells as the fruit ripens.
There are a few ways you can eat feijoas, but the most common way is to simply slice them in half and scoop out the pulp with a spoon—similar to eating a kiwi fruit. They can also be used to make smoothies, cakes, jam, ice cream, yogurt, cider, chutney and a variety of creative dishes. Shortly after I retuned home with my feijoas, I noticed Susan of The Kiwi Cook had posted a recipe for Feijoa, Apple, and Boysenberry Crumble. Sounds delicious. I’m sure feijoa’s complex flavor makes a wonderful addition many recipes.
Have you tried feijoas? If so, how do you eat them? Any recipes?