Guava is a tropical fruit that is eaten as a snack, as well as turned into jams, jellies, desserts, and drinks like Agua fresca.
If you have never sampled the flavor, it can be hard to explain because it is so unique. The flavor of guava is deep and complex, while also light and fruity.
It makes the perfect addition to assortments of tropical fruit or fruit juices.
My first experience with guava was drinking POG – a juice mixture of passionfruit, orange juice, and guava. I couldn’t believe all of the flavors in my mouth all at once.
Later, I realized that guava was responsible for a part of that flavor combination that I was particularly impressed with.
In this article, we’ll take a look at guava: what it is, where it comes from, what it tastes like, and how you can enjoy it for yourself.
What Does Guava Look Like?
Guava is a fruit that grows on trees and has the general shape of a pear. Depending on the variety, the shape can be slightly different, and guavas can be as small as a lemon or as large as a melon.
The guava’s protective skin is green or yellow. If you cut into guava, you will notice that the flesh is a bright and vibrant pink or red, speckled with small edible seeds.
What Texture Does Guava Have?
The flesh of guava fruit is soft, or slightly crunchy, depending on the variety. It can also have a slightly gritty texture, like a pear can, along with the texture of the seeds that are brought into each mouthful.
What Types Of Guava Are There?
There are many subvarieties of guava which each have its own individual taste and characteristics. Here are some of the most popular types of guava:
- Red Malaysian
- Mexican Cream
- Tropical White
- Sweet Indonesian
- Red Indian
- Giant Vietnamese
- Thai Maroon
Where Does Guava Come From?
Nobody knows exactly where the first guava trees grew, but they are native to Southern Mexico, Central America, and South America. There is evidence of guava cultivation in Peru dating back 2500 years.
Today, guava is still very popular in Latin America and the Caribbean, but it has also spread around the world, catching on especially well in hot climates.
Currently, the largest guava producer in the world is India, growing 45% of the world’s guava, encompassing more than 30 different varieties.
As a tropical fruit, guava doesn’t like the cold and requires a lot of heat and sunlight. It is primarily grown in equatorial and tropical countries, although some varieties of guava grow in most southern states in the US.
How Do You Eat Guava?
The simplest way to enjoy guava is to take a big bite. The rind is thin and edible, and contains a ton of nutrients, including as much vitamin C as an entire orange! After a quick external rinse, you can sink your teeth into guava just like you would an apple or a pear.
Alternatively, you can cut guava into slices like you would an apple. This is great for fruit plates, cheese plates, and fruit cups and allows you the choice to eat the rind or leave it on your plate.
If you want to avoid the rind altogether, you can cut guava horizontally and eat it out of the rind like you would an avocado.
There are plenty more ways to eat guava, too! Guava is an incredible way to add depth and flavor to your smoothies and is also very popular as jams, jellies, and in desserts.
Is Guava Good For You?
There are so many nutrients and antioxidants in guava that you can consider it a superfood. It’s very healthy, and eating more guava in your diet is likely to improve your health in several ways.
Guava can give your immune system a boost. A single guava contains more than twice the daily recommended intake of vitamin C, along with several other vitamins and minerals that your body needs to fight off disease, like iron, vitamin A, calcium, and potassium.
The high level of fiber in guava makes it helpful for those with irritable bowel syndrome, and eating guava is a good treatment for both constipation and diarrhea.
leaf has been shown to decrease the severity and duration of diarrhea, and one study showed that guava leaf was more effective than normal painkillers at reducing the pain of menstrual cramps.
Guava is a fruit packed with fiber and essential nutrients – a true superfood. It’s very good for you.
How Can I Store Guava?
This depends on whether or not the guava is ripe when you want to store it, and how long you want to keep it fresh for.
If your guava is unripe and you just need a place to keep it, leave it out in a fruit bowl on the countertop.
Unripe guava will gradually ripen over a few weeks at normal room temperature, surrounded by other fruit. When your fruit is ripe, you can decide whether you want to eat it or store it.
You can store a ripe guava in the refrigerator for 5-7 days without a loss of flavor or texture. Unripe guava lasts even longer, from 2 to 4 weeks. If you want to keep guava fresh longer than that, you’ll have to freeze it.
Can You Freeze Guava?
You can keep guava in the freezer for up to a year, but only if you prepare it the right way.
If you throw an entire guava fruit in the freezer you won’t like the result. It will have a mushy texture and lose a lot of its flavor.
However, if you cut your guava into pieces beforehand and mix them with some light simple syrup before storing them in a freezer-safe container, you can preserve the flavor and texture for up to a full year.
If you don’t have simple syrup, you can freeze guava without it, but there might be some discoloration and browning. If you plan on cooking the guava you are freezing, you probably don’t have to worry about it.
How To Ripen Guava
Guava will ripen by itself when left out on your countertop at room temperature, but if you are hoping to enjoy that delicious piece of fruit sooner rather than later, you can speed up the process.
First of all, make sure you wash the rind. Sometimes guava is treated with edible wax that delays ripening so that it can be shipped to the grocery store.
Once you’re ready for your guava to ripen, washing this wax off will help the process happen faster.
Place the guavas you want to ripen in a paper bag with an apple or a banana, and check up on them every day.
When the rind of your guava is softer to the touch, and your thumb or forefinger can easily indent the flesh and make an impression, it is time to enjoy it.
Gauva Nutritional Value
|per 1 whole guava according to WebMD
Quick Table: 3 Guava Taste Recipes
|Homemade Matcha Boba Pearls
|Coconut Bubble Tea
|Birthday Cake Bubble Tea
This recipe isn’t like cheese at all, despite the name. Guava cheese is a soft, sweet, and condensed product made from guava that is traditionally added to sandwiches and other dishes.
It’s very sweet and has a strong and pleasant guava flavor. It is more like a dessert than cheese.
Interestingly, guava has one of the highest levels of pectin of all fruits. Pectin is what causes jams and jellies to congeal the way they do.
This makes guava almost uniquely suited to these kinds of dishes. You will find guava jelly and guava jam are very popular in areas where guava is commonly grown.
This recipe comes from Trinidad, where guava and cane sugar are always plentiful, and was traditionally used to get rid of excess guava when it was overly abundant in season.
The soft, chewy sweet is ideal for afternoon tea, and can be eaten by itself or served on crackers or bread.
It’s also much easier to make than cheese, and there is no cheesecloth or straining required.
The pectin in guavas combined with the sugar naturally hardens the mixture of boiled guava into a solid cake that you can cut slices from, or even mold with cookie cutters into fun shapes.
Calories Per Serving: 70
Preparation Time: 25 Minutes
The fruity flavor of guava is excellent for bringing a tropical twist to dishes from the north. Nothing kicks a barbecue sauce up a notch like a bit of an exotic flavor like guava, and this recipe doesn’t disappoint.
The sweetness of the guava makes a great complement to the heat of the jalapeno and the rougher flavors of liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard.
You can use guava barbecue sauce on any meat, but the lightness and acidity make it really nice on pork, chicken, and seafood.
You can also adjust this recipe for your taste. You can add more guava if you want to increase the fruit flavor, or mix it with other fruits like mango or passionfruit.
This recipe is also pretty hot, so if you are looking for something milder, you can take out the whole jalapeno pepper.
Calories Per Serving: 50
Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
Mexico is at the epicenter of the guava world, and it makes an excellent addition to a national favorite beverage – Agua fresca.
If you’ve never had Agua fresca, it’s water blended with cut-up fruit, lime juice, and a bit of sugar. Agua fresca contains more water and is less intensely flavored than smoothies, or fruit juice.
This recipe for guava mango Agua fresca is simple to follow and highlights the unique flavor of guava in a way that isn’t so overwhelming or intense and is truly refreshing.
Calories Per Serving: 50
Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Guava Taste Like Apple?
It is hard to compare the taste of guava with other fruits, but some people do note a similarity with the taste of apples.
However, this flavor is also mingled with a variety of other flavor notes, including mango, banana, and passionfruit. Apples are sweet, crisp, and juicy but more acidic and with less of a depth of flavor than guava.
Where apples and guava are similar is in texture: guava flesh, especially when unripe, is similar to the texture of an apple or a pear.
What Fruit Is Guava Similar To?
Guava is unique and unlike any other fruit, but it seems to have a bit of the flavor of almost every other tropical fruit rolled into one – including mangoes, bananas, pineapple, and passionfruit. There have also been comparisons to pears and strawberries.
Although the guava is a little bit like many other fruits, it’s hard to find a direct replacement. If you want to replace guava in a recipe, you are likely better off combining multiple tropical fruits to get a similar taste.
Is Guava Bitter Or Sweet?
Ripe guava is sweet and never bitter. It is a tropical fruit with a high sugar content.
If your guava is sour or bitter, it is likely to be unripe. Don’t pick guava off the tree before it falls by itself, or you might end up with this kind of bitter fruit.
To ripen guava, leave it out with other fruit at room temperature, or speed up the process by placing it in a sealed paper bag in a well-ventilated area outside of direct sunlight.
Do You Eat The Skin Of A Guava?
Every part of the guava is edible – the skin, the rind, and the seeds.
You don’t need to eat the skin of guava if you don’t want to, but there is plenty of nutrition in guava rind that you will be missing out on if you cut it off.
Make sure to wash the exterior of the guava well before biting into it to remove any wax.
What Flavors Pair With Guava?
Guava makes an excellent complement to other fruits and is the star of the show on almost any fruit plate.
Guava pairs well with bananas, mangos, pears, pineapple, strawberries, passionfruit, kiwi, apples, peaches, plums, coconut, citrus, and more.
Whether cut up on a fruit tray or blended into a smooth, guava brings out other fruit flavors while shining in its uniqueness among them.
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