Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mellow fruitfulness

April is feijoa season.

[Image: HortResearch]

For the benefit of those who, like me until five years ago, have never heard of feijoas: it's a fruit. A small, green, ovoid fruit, in appearance a bit like a lime, but smoother and softer. The flesh is sweet and perfumed and slightly gritty in texture, a little like a fresh fig, or a lot (I'm told) like a guava. It's usually eaten by slicing it in half and scooping the flesh out with a spoon.

I've never seen the things outside New Zealand, although Wikipedia tells me they exist in other places. The fruit has a short shelf life and bruises very easily, which means it's seldom transported any serious distance. But here in Auckland, they're a positive plague. Every second garden has its own feijoa tree/bush, and not surprisingly they all fruit at the same time - which means that even if you personally don't have your own tree, you almost certainly have friends, colleagues and/or family members who do, and who can't possibly eat all that fruit by themselves...

Some enterprising souls set up little roadside stands to sell them. Even the supermarkets get in on the act, for the brief few weeks of the season. Lord knows who buys them, though. Everyone I know has their work cut out just to eat the free ones.

The fruit are so sweet, and so easy to eat, that they're almost universally popular. For about three weeks every autumn, the people of Auckland - most of whom wouldn't normally eat fruit if you dared them to it - actually get within shouting distance of a healthy diet.

Which is just as well, with swine flu breaking out all over.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That wiki page is interesting. So I found that, like all iconic NZ fruit, it's actually an import - from South America this time.

A colleague makes a great pineapple & feijoa crumble. She's yet to share the recipe with me.