Sunday, November 4, 2007

What are they: The Answer

So after another excursion into the hills of Hawaii, a sunburn, a belly and backpack full of fruit, and tons of scratches and scrapes on my calves and ankles I still had no answer.

Then today I was sitting around talking with a guy about my hike. He asked, "So did you see all the guava up there?" I replied, "Guava eh, are you sure that is what they are called?" Staring at me like I'm an idiot he says, "Yeah man, that's guava".

I sit there staring at him blankly thinking, naw I've seen guava before and it doesn't look anything like the stuff I've been eating. In fact I've guzzled my fair share of tasty guava nectar, and it doesn't taste like the stuff I've been chewing on. But, being the savvy traveler, I kept my mouth shut and ran off to wikipedia, as all savvy travelers should do when they aren't 100% sure about something. Turns out the Pilipino was right... Psidium guajava aka common guava or apple guava grows on shrubs all over the place. It is not native to Hawaii, and is actually considered a nasty pain in the neck. Here's a good picture!

Yeah, yeah I know guava is supposed to be red on the inside.. Well my friend we are in fact being misled by the fruit juice industry.. Here is the truth (from the always to be trusted and never to be questioned Wikipedia) "The fruit is edible, round to pear-shaped. It has a thin delicate rind, pale green to yellow at maturity in some species, pink to red in others, a creamy white or orange-salmon flesh with many small hard seeds, and a strong, characteristic aroma. It is rich in vitamins A, B, and C (a guava fruit contains more vitamin C than a typical citrus fruit – the rind contains over five times more vitamin C than an orange). It also contains high amounts of calcium – which is unusual in a fruit."

So there ya go, the answer is wild guava, and I don't care if it is considered a pest, or if some call it common. I call it délicieux.

Did you know that "Guava leaves are used for medicinal purposes, as a remedy for diarrhea!" Sweet.

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