Guava (ฝรั่ง)

(Psidium guajava)

Guava is tender delicious fragrant fruit but… not in Thailand. Because Thais and other folks from South-East Asia prefer unripe guava.

Taste of guava

First time I had tasted guava in Egypt – little yellow fruit that smell amazingly good with unique pleasant taste, sweet with a hint of sour. When I came back from Egypt I brought several fruit with me. My entire flat was coated with this amazing aroma until they were eaten.

Thai guava was a big disappointment to me. First of all it was crispy like a carrot. Secondly it had neither aroma nor taste of Egyptian guava. Only a hint. Thai guava reminds me more of unripe almost tasteless pear. Though fruit grow much bigger in size than in Egypt. The same thing concerns fruit shakes made of guava – there’s only a hint of flavor.

Guava and other fruits at fruit market
Guavas are to the left, wrapped in transparent plastic bags

How to choose, transport & store

All fruit due to their unripeness can be easily transported (like apples) and stored. Probably guavas would become ripe, if they are left to rest at room temperature for several days (as it comes with pears). Unfortunately I still haven’t tried this method yet.

How to eat guavas

To peel or not to peel is up to you. The skin is edible. I would suggest cutting into pieces. Be careful while eating – guava seeds are rather hard, so avoid giving excess pressure in order not to damage your teeth.

As a matter of convenience guava in Thailand is sold being peeled, cut in pieces and cleared of seeds. Usually you’d receive a little package with spices (that include chili) for guava.

Sometimes Thais dye peeled guava fruit in bright colors (green or red). So it’s hard to understand what kind of fruits are these. But it is still the same crispy guava that has spent some time in bright-colored syrup. My Thai friends told me that it’s a kind of amusement for children and it definitely draws their attention to unremarkable fruit.

When and where to buy

The season for guavas in Thailand is all year round. They are sold everywhere. The price starts from 25 THB/kg.

Flower of guava tree
Guava blossom

Source of pictures without FalkTime watermark is Wikipedia. Authors are A-giau and Hans Hillewaert.

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