Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New Fruit (#6)

The little, oblong GUAYABA, known as guava in English, is non-descript green on the outside, but, cut open, it's surprisingly between watermelon-pink and salmon on the inside. It smells of pumpkin and grass, with a fruity tang, very summery, like sitting in a garden or stomping through a cornfield.

(photo courtesy of Wikimedia)

The delight diminishes once I start scooping it into my mouth. The center pulp, with little, tomatoey-looking seeds has a strange smooth feel, slippery and gummy at the same time, textureless, if that's possible. The seeds are incredibly hard. I cannot crush them with my teeth. I scoop this part out--not worth eating. Perhaps it could be blended and strained for juice. This leaves about a third of an inch of fruit inside the thin rind. This part is mealier, a little less sweet, slightly bitter, and dominated by those earthy green aromas. Maybe because of it's happy color, I can imagine it being better in a sorbet, lightened, sweetened, and tanged up with lemon, than fresh.

The peel, I've read, is edible, and it has a totally different flavor, perhaps better than the inside. It's a bit bitter, but dominated by a piney taste, with an aroma of frankincense. Maybe not the best flavors for a fruit, but definitely distinct. Overall, it's in no way a disgusting a food; I'd eat a little of it if it was on my plate, but I don't really understand why this fruit, which wasn't dirt cheap in the supermercado, makes its way into all sorts of "tropical" beverages in the States. There are definitely much better fruits being totally ignored.

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