Sunday, 5 June 2011

fresh from the market... feijoas

feijoas, lime and ginger, ready to be blended together for a fresh breakfast juice.

I don't come into contact with feijoas very often, so recently, when a pack of 5 organic feijoas beckoned to me at South Melbourne Market for the relatively affordable price of $3, I wasn't about to turn them down.

Feijoas, also known as pineapple guavas or guavasteens, are a fairly new addition to my life as an Australian resident. A few trips to New Zealand further cemented the presence of this rather unique fruit in my mind - fresh feijoas are ubiquitous there, and the New Zealanders use them keenly in a variety of applications - jam, candy, and even vodka.

However, this is the first time I've ever bought feijoas for myself. The very first thing that seduced me was their intriguing fragrance, which, to me, is a sweet whirlwind of strawberry, guava and mint - intoxicating, addictive and almost reminiscent of a scented candle. I had to wait a few days for my feijoas to fully ripen at room temperature in their brown paper bag, and during this time I would often gather them close to breathe in that pretty scent.

feijoas, sliced in half vertically. sweet, fragrant and ready to be eaten with a spoon.

When the feijoas finally yielded gently to my touch, signalling that they ready to be eaten, I sliced some of them in half, and simply scooped out the flesh with a spoon. I found the texture of ripe feijoas to be quite soft and creamy, but at the same time, it also had a hint of grittiness. The taste was, again, complex and fascinating. It was like the Fruit Gods got together one day to decide what a feijoa should taste like, and the following conversation ensued:

"They're related to guava, so I reckon they should taste like guava."

"You know what, I love the fresh taste of mint. Can we incorporate that somehow?"

"My dear compatriots, let's not forget about acidity. Something like pineapple and strawberry would be nice, yeah?"

"Oh, oh, how about soursop?"

The Fruit Gods are a quirky bunch indeed.

You can also peel feijoas if you like - I did this to the remaining feijoas, which I then popped into the blender along with some fresh ginger and lime for a quick and exotic breakfast juice. It was all gone in no time. I'm definitely going to purchase feijoas more often from now on, and experiment with them further to create some feijoa recipes.

What are your thoughts on feijoas?

31 comments:

  1. Goodness I've never seen this fruit before. Looks delicious! Where can I find these?

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  2. I bought them from an organic shop at South Melbourne Market. I've seen them at supermarkets too but I think markets or gourmet grocers would be a better bet. They're in season from March to June so go try your luck soon before they're all gone!

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  3. Sour and guavaey on the outside. Floral, passionfruitey and pearish in the inside. I love the inside bits. We have some much of them and it's so cheap here, so I just suck on the inside bits and discard the rest. Hahaha ;)

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  4. You tease, PFx! :p
    They're not as common here and can be quite expensive, sigh.

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  5. Oooh, like soursop too? My dad loves that stuff! :) How curious, I don't think I've had these before, intentionally at least. Sounds delightful though!

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  6. If you can't find the fruit, I think I initially tasted feijoa in one of those organic Phoenix beverages you can get in some cafes. And 42 Below has a feijoa-flavoured vodka. I'm really quite charmed by the real thing though. :)

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  7. Sheesh.... I hope that they have it in vic market!

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  8. These fruits certainly do your head in. I've had them before and wasn't so convinced about the taste. Maybe making them into a juice with lemon and ginger would improve the taste!

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  9. i love the ginger + lime combination in a breakfast juice... will have to pop by SMM and find some!

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  10. Oh I hope so for you too Michelle!

    Maria, I guess it could be an acquired taste. Mine were also organic, and fully ripe when I ate them, which could've made quite a difference - they had a nice balance of flavours.

    Yay, I hope you find them Yas! :)

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  11. I'm on the hunt for them now.. Anybody has seen them in Europe yet? If they grow in New Zealand, they should not be doing too bad here too.

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  12. Feijoa vodka is the only form in which I have tried them!

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  13. Oh how I've been going feijoa crazy this season. Last month, I found myself driving all the way to my mum's house in the wee hours of the night to pick up my batch of feijoas. And then grabbing some more from her neighbors tree- with permission of course.

    One word: Addicted.

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  14. lacaffettierarosa, apparently feijoas have been introduced to Europe. I don't know if the fruits only come along in autumn, but if so you might have to wait a few months. :p

    Foodycat, I think I ordered feijoa vodka once at a bar too with some apple juice and ginger beer. It was quite pleasant!

    Jealous of all the free feijoas available to you Adrian! I think I need to befriend someone with a feijoa tree. ;)

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  15. I have seen them but not tried them - I had no idea what to expect. Youve convinced me to give them a go now - a little bit easier than peeling chestnuts!

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  16. Oh, do let me know how you go with them, Red!

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  17. wow - I've never even heard of these!

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  18. I have neven seen or heard of them. I am learning so much every day from you guys :) You said Guava and I adore the taste of guava.. so mu hunt has began !

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  19. I've only had the chance to try feijoas once, at the home of a high school friend, and I can remember two things: one, it was crazy delicious, and two, she had the most amazing aquarium in her house.

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  20. I adore feijoas!!! I love them fresh or in a cake. Beautiful fruit they are.
    Heidi xo

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  21. Olá, amiga!
    Passei para uma visitinha.
    A fruta é bonita mas eu nunca vi.
    Beijinhos.
    Brasil.
    °º♫
    °º✿
    º° ✿♥ ♫° ·.

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  22. I've never even seen feijoas. It sounds like a complex guava, I guess... And now I'll have to try to hunt some down, I guess :)

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  23. I LOVE FEIJOAS!!! Yayy!!

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  24. Thanks everyone for your comments! Happy to see all the interest in feijoas. :)

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  25. I love love feijoas just by itself. South Melbourne market? I have to check it out this friday then.

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  26. I've never come across this...but that scent description sounds fantastic! It looks kind of a like a green papaya...I wonder if I could find one of these at the store.

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  27. Happy hunting Penny! :)

    FFF - I hope you find some. :)

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  28. Sigh. Back in NZ, they're like $1 kg. God I miss feijoas, they're so expensive here!

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  29. Yeah they are! I rarely buy "exotic" fruits here, because they're crazy expensive.

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  30. When I was a kid I used to pick these with friends and through them at each other. What a waste!

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  31. wholelarderlove - I wish I had such an abundance of feijoas to play with. Lucky you! :)

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