The Fragrance of Guava
Some years ago I had the chance to go to South America for the first time - to Colombia, more explicitly - and one day I was introduced to this thick, maroon, sticky like-jelly paste. It was cut in little 2'' rectangles and wrapped in some sort of dry palm leaf (not on plastic, yay!).
When it's tasted by itself it may be quite sugary but that kind of fruity sugary feeling to it, like a no-additives-no-conservative-agents fruit roll with a special flowery tropical taste. Not bad at all... but magic realism starts happening when they tell you to try with cheese... any cheese will do to create this explosion of flavours in your mouth, a beautiful contrast comparable to that you get when you have grapes with cheese, or pear with cheese but in its unique way. This must have definitely be the dessert of gods, from Chia to Bachué.
Love at first taste
So here I was with yet-another-crush, my brown sticky sweet Bocadillo, when to my surprise, while inquiring about its origins I'm told it's all because of a (very popular) fruit called guava. I had heard of guava in the past and to be quite honest I didn't pay much attention to it back then. Now all my attention was drawn towards the possibilities this Macondian fruit could offer. A world of what-ifs started to take place in both my head and my palate.
Guava fruit tried on its own is quite enjoyable and depending on the ripeness you get a slightly different flavour. More firm and sourish (although still quite sweet) when greenish and not too ripe, to a heavy juicy sweetness when ripe. There are tiny seeds inside but local wisdom say they cleanse your gut, and quite honestly the crunchyness they provide is really not bad at all. It may also occur that after a bite or two, little gusanitos (I hate the word maggots... so I've decided to call them gusanitos) pop out from inside the fruit. This is very rare and it usually happens when you actually grab the fruit straight from the tree. Local wisdom also dictates that eating them is like hiring a cleaning squad for your tummy... not too sure about this but whatever, they must at least have some protein in them, so in you go little fella! (you were half eaten already anyway)
Unfortunately (or fortunately?) it's a misused fruit in my humble opinion. Yeah sure, you can find guava juice, guava popsicles and maybe even some teas made out of its leaves, but I seriously think it has so much more potential than just the basic transformation of an ingredient. I will certainly be exploring this tropical wonder further, but in the meantime I'll leave you with this little experiment that quite honestly exceeded my expectations.
A Magic Fruit
Not only it tastes like a tropical fruitical orgy (excuse the term) but it is packed with a bunch of vitamins: A, B and C (allegedly 5x what you can find in a single orange) it helps you keep a healthy gut and apparently helps fight cancer. This beauty has been cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions for at least 2k years and depending on its ripeness and where it comes from its appearance may vary from green outside and pink inside to yellow all around, but quite honestly the taste doesn't really change in my humble opinion.
If you live down south it really won't be hard to find them. But if you live up north you may want to visit specialized supermarkets to find them. Adonis, Kim Phat, C&T or Sami Fruits around Montréal are the places to go.