delicious,fragrant and complex
Feijoas’ botanical name is acca sellowiana. It is a species of flowering plant in the myrtle family Myrtaceae, and is native to the highlands of southern Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, and northern Argentina.
German botanist Otto Karl Berg named the feijoa after João da Silva Feijó, a Portuguese botanist born in the colony of Brazil. It is an evergreen, perennial shrub or small tree, 1–7 metres (3.3–23 ft) in height, widely cultivated as a garden plant, hedge and fruiting tree..
The trees are highly susceptible to wind damage, and the fruit is affected by sunburn, however it has few pest problems other than fruit fly in this country (lucky new Zealanders!). In Australia there are only around 7 varieties available commercially, however in New Zealand there are over 30 cultivars with more being developed all the time (lucky New Zealanders again!).
The flowers are pollinated by the birds and the bees, so having a healthy environment is important for this fruit. Our orchard is a hive of activity each morning and evening when the spectacular flowers are out. Pairs of honey-eaters flit between the rows eating the petals and pollinating as they go.
How do tell when a feijoa is ripe?
This is our most commonly asked question as you can’t tell by looking at a feijoa whether or not it’s ripe. Luckily for us the clever feijoa tree drops the fruit when it’s ripe, so we collect the ripe fruit every day and you don’t have to guess! When buying feijoas, look for fruit that feel firm. Feijoas can bruise easily even though they feel hard, so handle them gently, as you would a ripe peach.
Once you’ve opened a feijoa, you can see it’s ripe when the jelly-like centre is clear; the flesh nearer the skin remains more opaque. A white centre is under-ripe – this will taste quite sharp – and a brown centre is over-ripe. Some people love the fruit when is completely soft and light brown, or quite firm and tart, so whatever works for you is fine.
If you’ve bought fruit that are not quite ripe , just leave them at room temperature and they’ll ripen in a day or two. You can speed up the process by putting them in a paper bag with a banana if you need to. Ripe feijoas are best stored in the fridge, and only for a short time. You can freeze feijoa pulp extremely well for using later in the year in baking or smoothies. We are developing a pulp line to keep you in feijoas all year round in Australia.
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Fresh fruit seasonally.
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Sally’s Tedx Talk – May 2015
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the feijoa love!