Y2 – Day 298 – Guava

In our backyard, we planted a guava tree, about 15, maybe 16 years ago.  In the same strip of sprinklers, we have two Meyer dwarf lemon trees, one buddelia or butterfly bush, one Fuerte avocado tree and recently, my husband gifted me a small, toddler orange tree. The Guava tree is by far the best and biggest producer of fruit and along with the purple, fragrant bush is the only vegetation that has ever needed any pruning.

The really wild thing is that you cannot buy guavas from the farmer’s market or grocery store.  Maybe you have seen, even tasted guava juice or nectar but unless you have a tree, you have never seen one whole.  That is because they are impossible to transport.  I can hardly get them into the kitchen without bruising, the skin is that delicate.

There is a rim of flesh surrounding a nest of seeds when you cut into the fruit lengthwise.  The skin is edible as well as the flesh.  The seeds are not.  The seeds are encased in a gel like center and is easily discarded.  The taste is sweet yet tangy and musky.

The absolute best part of picking guavas and bringing them indoors is their scent.  These are the most aromatic fruits I have ever encountered.  They have a citrusy smell that resembles just sprayed Lemon Pledge.  I took three small specimens to my friend’s house today and they filled my car and then her home with that ‘just cleaned’ fragrance.

They are best fresh but cleaned, cut up flesh can be frozen for a future smoothie.  My friend was going to add it to her chicken salad.

Our climate is perfect for irrigated guavas due to its need for some sort of coolness in the winter. Many tropical guavas are found in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, as well as India.

Pick them at the height of maturity, hopefully before they fall off the tree, when they are a light lemony yellow and soft to the touch, like a ripe avocado.

I feel lucky to have Guava in our backyard and share this extraordinary product of nature.

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