A distant cousin to the guava, feijoa is a small fruit native to the tropical regions of Brazil.

While this tiny fruit is not known for its popularity in Western cuisine, that doesn't give reason to overlook this intense, aromatic treat. If you have never tried feijoa, it is time to take a step into the unknown. This fruit will become one of your all-time favorites with one delectable bite.

Consider feijoa fancy food

Maturing in late summer and early fall, the feijoa is a green, oval-shaped fruit about the size of a standard large brown chicken egg. Once you break into the feijoa, you will be greeted by the intense tropical aroma and flavor, after all, it is kin to the guava. The pulp inside has almost a gritty, yet gelatinous texture, again, much like a guava, and has small, hardly noticeable seeds similar to a strawberry or a kiwi.

History and facts

Originally grown in South America, feijoa is a hardy fruit that can support itself in a number of different climates. Of course, fruit production will be lower in cooler climates, but the trees will flower around May and the fruit will ripen in August. Feijoas were brought to the US and eventually moved west. Today, the largest producers of feijoa, behind Brazil, are San Francisco and New Zealand.

Feijoa is often used in exfoliates and other skin softening and cleaning products. Much like other tropical fruits, the gritty texture and levels of acidity lend themselves nicely to skin care regimens. This fancy fruit was adopted by some of the top cosmetic companies. Feijoa was proven to help firm and tone skin while also adding color and shine. The next time you pick up a face wash, check the ingredient list for the beloved feijoa. This fruit works equally as hard inside and out to make you healthy.

How to eat feijoa

Feijoa fruits can be enjoyed right off the tree, or in a juice, jam, ice cream and even adult beverages like sparkling wine. Since feijoa is similar to guava, the food applications are extremely similar. They are delicious in fruit salads and chutney and can often be used in smoothies. The petals of the feijoa flower are edible and they make a refreshing addition to salads.

If you are looking to try something different, but don't want to stray too far from your comfort zone, then look no further than the feijoa. With a similarity to guava, you can try out different cooking applications and food combinations without feeling lost in an unfamiliar territory.

Is feijoa good for you?

Not only is the feijoa low in cholesterol, it is a powerhouse of Vitamin C, claiming as much as 10mg. This is also a fiber rich source. You'll appreciate many of feijoa's benefits when it comes to hair, skin and nails as it contains folate, along with high levels of super antioxidants. The feijoa was once described as “the world's healthiest food” by the New York Times.

How to grow feijoa fruits

The feijoa plant grows best in warm temperature, sub-tropical climates with some chill in winter and a cool summer. It can tolerate tropical temperatures and grow, but it would not bear fruit. It can be grown from seed or grafted. Flowers appear in late srping, early summer. Fruits are seasonal, ripening from late summer to well into the autumn season.

Feijoa - acca sellowiana (myrtaceae)

Pineapple guava, guavasteen.