To most New Zealanders, imagining life without feijoas is almost unthinkable. But in many parts of the world, this fruit is a complete mystery. With its smooth green skin and small, oval shape, they can almost be mistaken for limes. Feijoas are often called pineapple guavas, because they bear some resemblance to guavas in appearance and taste. Both are part of the myrtle family, which explains the distinct fragrance of feijoas, as other members of the family include eucalyptus and clove.
Describing the taste of feijoas is rather challenging. Many liken them to guavas or quince. But their complex flavor also brings to mind strawberries and pineapple, with a pear-like gritty texture, and a hint of mint.
One can gain many health benefits from eating feijoas. They are high in vitamin C, low in calories and a great source of minerals, fibre and antioxidants. Feijoas are a good source of one antioxidant in particular, proanthocyanins. They have been shown to help reduce inflammation, counter effects of aging and reduce some risks of cancer.
How to Eat
For the feijoa lover, there is no better way to eat this little green fruit than slicing it open and scooping out the jelly-like fruit with a spoon. It can be eaten straight, or added to fruit salads, used as a topping on ice cream or other desserts, made into chutney or added to smoothies.
Feijoas are best when ripened at room temperature. You can speed up the ripening process by placing them in a paper bag for a few days with an apple or banana. Once ripe, they are soft and fragrant, and should be eaten soon. They will keep for up to five days in the refrigerator. To store them for longer periods, the flesh can be frozen. Simply scoop out the soft interior of the fruit and puree, then store in containers for several months in the freezer.