Learn About Guava

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is Guava?

Guava is a tropical tree-grown fruit from Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.  Guavas are typically round or slightly oblong, but they can also be somewhat pear-shaped.  When the fruit is not ripe, the skin is bright green and feels slightly firm under the fingers.  When guava is ripe, the skin is a yellowish-green and the outside will give slightly when squeezed.  Guavas have a sweet smell, which also indicates ripeness.  There are five common types of guava: Tropical Yellow, Tropical White, Tropical Pink, Red Malaysia, and Lemon Guava.  Guavas can be pink, yellow, or white inside, depending on the variety of guava fruit.

What Does Guava Taste Like?

Guavas taste similar to a combination of pears and strawberries.  It may also taste somewhat like mango, but different varieties of guava are similar to different fruits.  Guavas that are not ripe will taste tangier and possibly more sour than ripened guavas.  A ripe guava will be sweeter and its sweetness can vary between types of guava.

Learn About Guava
Fresh and sliced guava on the kitchen counter.

How Do You Eat Guava?

Guava can be eaten raw or cooked.  The skin and seeds are edible.  Most people prepare guava raw, but people juice guava for drinks and some sauces.  The fruit is frequently made into marmalade, jams, and jellies.  Guava and cream cheese are a popular combination when made into a pastry.  Breads, tarts, and pies are also made with guava.  While guava is used in sweeter dishes, the fruit is reduced into glazes for meat dishes.

How to Prepare Raw Guava

  1. Thoroughly wash the outside of the fruit under running water.
  2. Place the guava on its side on a cutting board.
  3. Cut the guava in half.
  4. Cut each half into smaller slices, if desired.

Where Can You Buy Guava?

Guavas are in season from late spring to early fall.  Look for guavas in the produce section of large grocery stores.  Guavas can be found in international grocery stores, Asian food stores, Hispanic food stores, and Indian food stores.  Guava juice can be found in most grocery stores.

How Do You Store Guava?

When storing guava, the fruit should be ripe.  Store guava at room temperature for 1-2 days.  Refrigerated guava can keep for up to 4 days.  Guava can be stored in the freezer for up to 6-8 months.

Fun Facts About Guava

Guava leaves are used in some countries to treat certain ailments.  Guava leaves are ground into tea.

Did You Know?

Some people use guava leaves as a natural fabric dye.

Recipes Using Guava

Guava Pastry

Create a flaky treat for breakfast or dessert. Place a piece of puff pastry on a baking sheet. Top with guava pasta and cream cheese, then cover with another piece of puff pastry. Brush the top piece of pastry with egg wash and sprinkle sugar over the top. Bake until the pastry turns golden-brown and flaky.

Fruit Smoothie

Make a tasty smoothie to quench your thirst. Combine passion fruit juice, guava juice, banana, strawberry, and mango in a blender. Pour in a glass and enjoy.

Guava Vinaigrette

Whip up a tangy dressing for salads. Combine guava nectar, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and fresh herbs in a bowl until fully incorporated. Pour over a leafy salad with fruit.

Poached Guavas

Make a delicious dessert by poaching guavas. Peel guavas and cut them into quarters. Add water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, and lemon juice to a large saucepan. Simmer mixture for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and add the guavas to the mixture to poach for about 10 minutes. Remove the guavas and reduce the sauce until it thickens. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Guava Glaze

Create a glaze for meats like chicken or pork with guava. Combine guava jam, soy sauce, orange juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Use a basting brush to evenly coat meat with the glaze before baking.

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