What is Pineapple Guava?
The pineapple guava is a shrub native to tropical Central and South America. The leaves are simple and opposite, while the flowers are tubular and white. The fruit is globular in shape and ranges from 3-8 cm in diameter with a smooth outer skin and yellowish flesh when ripe. The fruit has hard seeds and the flesh has a sweet and acidic flavor reminiscent of pineapple and guava.
More comprehensive information and care guidelines can be read here.
The Intriguing Origins of Feijoa
Feijoa is native to South America and was named after the 19th century botanist Paulo Feijo who introduced it to cultivation. Feijoa plants form small trees and the leaves are leathery and evergreen. The fragrant white flowers appear in spring and the fruit matures throughout summer and early fall. The fruit of the feijoa ranges from egg-shaped to round and has a tough outer skin. When cut open, the flesh has a jelly-like consistency and a delicious sweet-tart flavor.
Paulo Feijo first discovered the feijoa tree in Peru in 1849. He collected seeds and samples, and finally introduced the species into cultivation in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1871. Despite Feijo’s efforts to promote cultivation, the feijoa remained relatively unknown until the early 20th century.
In 1906, Australian botanist Frederic Charles Fraser acquired seeds from Paulo Feijo and started growing the trees in Brisbane, Australia. Fraser recognized the commercial potential of the fruit and promoted its cultivation. The first feijoas in New Zealand were grown from cuttings supplied by Fraser and introduced in 1910.
Since the mid 20th century, the feijoa has gradually gained popularity as an exotic tropical fruit. It is now commercially grown in:
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- U.S. states with a Mediterranean climate such as California and Florida
The table below summarizes key facts about the history and origins of the feijoa:
|Discovered by||Paulo Feijo in Peru in 1849|
|First cultivated||In Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1871 by Paulo Feijo|
|Introduced to wider cultivation||By Australian botanist F.C Fraser in early 20th century|
|Commercial production began||Mid 20th century in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa|
Comparing the Appearance and Taste of Pineapple Guava and Feijoa
Both the pineapple guava and the feijoa fruit have similar tropical origins, but there are some key differences in their appearance, size, flavor and texture:
- Pineapple guava is smaller, spherical in shape with a diameter of 3-8 cm.
- Feijoa is bigger, ranging from egg-shaped to round and often between 5-10 cm long.
- The pineapple guava has a sweet and acidic flavor reminiscent of pineapple and guava. It has a lingering acidic aftertaste.
- Feijoa has a sweeter flavor profile with notes of pear and http://melon.It|melon.It has a stronger fruity aroma.
Seeds and Texture:
- Pineapple guava has many hard seeds (~100-200) and yellow flesh.
- Feijoa typically has 1-2 large seeds embedded in the flesh and a jelly-like pulp texture.
|Attribute||Pineapple Guava||Feijoa Fruit|
|Size||Smaller and spherical||Bigger and oblong|
|Flavor||Acidic and tangy||Sweeter and aromatic|
|Pulp||Less jelly-like||More jelly-like|
In summary, while both fruits have a similar crisp, pulpy texture when ripe, the pineapple guava tends to be smaller, more acidic in flavor with numerous seeds whereas the feijoa is larger, sweeter with one to two seeds embedded in its jelly-like flesh.
Nutritional Benefits and Culinary Uses of Pineapple Guava and Feijoa
Both the pineapple guava fruit and the feijoa are excellent sources of important nutrients and antioxidants. They can be enjoyed in similar ways but also have distinct culinary uses.
- Both fruits are high in vitamin C, providing over 100% of the daily value in a single serving.
- They are also a good source of fiber, potassium and carotenoid antioxidants like beta carotene and lutein.
- Pineapple guava seeds contain high levels of healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids.
- Fresh consumption: Both fruits can be eaten fresh and offer a refreshing burst of flavor.
- Juicing: The juice from pineapple guava and feijoa packs a nutritional punch and makes for a healthy, exotic juice.
- Preserves: Due to their high pectin levels, both fruits work well for making jams and jelly.
Pineapple guava is well-suited for salsas, sauces and marinades due to its tangy-acidic flavor.
- Feijoas are ideal for desserts thanks to their natural sweetness, suiting uses in pies, crisps, fruit salads and yogurt.
The table below summarizes the nutritional value and optimal culinary uses of pineapple guava and feijoa:
|Nutrient||Pineapple Guava||Feijoa Fruit|
|Vitamin C(per 100g)||256% DV||103% DV|
|Uses||Salsas, sauces,marinades||Desserts, jams, juice|
In summary, both pineapple guava and feijoa offer impressive nutritional profiles with high levels of antioxidants and fiber. While either fruit can be consumed fresh, juiced or made into preserves, their distinct flavor profiles lend themselves to different culinary applications.
More Helpful Guide
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Frequently Asked Question
Can you juice feijoas?
Yes, you can juice feijoas. Combine with sweeter fruits like pineapple or orange. Strain pulp if desired.
Can feijoa trees be grown as container plants?
Yes, feijoa trees can be grown in containers. Use a large pot, provide good drainage and bring indoors if cold. Limit size with pruning.
What is the proper way to harvest feijoa fruit?
Pick feijoas by hand, twist and pull to separate from fruit stem cleanly. Take care not to bruise the delicate fruit.
How long does it take for a feijoa tree to bear fruit?
It takes roughly 3-5 years for feijoa trees to start bearing fruit significantly. The fruiting season is fall.