Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Feijoa time

It’s feijoa time in New Zealand. We Americans can be forgiven for not knowing what that means—but we really should.

Feijoas, Acca sellowiana, a member of the myrtle family, are a fruit native to Brazil but hugely popular here in New Zealand. I know the trees are gown ornamentally in Australia and other places, but I have no idea whether they’re as mad for the fruit as Kiwis are: We have the fruit, frozen concoctions, and even feijoa-infused vodka. Among other things.

This time of year, workplaces see people bringing in bags of the fruit to give away to co-workers before the fruit goes off—as it does, rather quickly. But while it’s around, it’s a feast.

One eats feijoas, typically, by scooping out the sweet centres with a spoon. The closer to the outside, the more tart—even astringent—the taste, And gritty, too. With so little return from each fruit, it’s no wonder people concentrate on the sweet (full disclosure: I quite like the more tart bit nearer the outside, but not TOO far out…).

It always used to be that people needed to plant a male and female tree to get fruit, but there are now self-pollinating varieties (there’s a Bob McCoskrie joke in there, but I couldn’t possibly comment). When ripe, the fruit just drops to the ground—rather a lot, apparently, and nearly all at once. Which is why people bring in bags full to their workplaces: How else are they going to get rid of such bounty before it rots?

I’d never heard of feijoas before I moved to New Zealand. Now, I can’t imagine life without them. Apparently, it’s a seductive fruit, too.

Photo accompanying this post is by Arthur Schenck. This blog's Creative Commons licence applies.


The Best Niece Ever. said...

I was having a discussion with a friend about how crazy kiwis are about feijoas and wondering if any other countries had them! Very informative!

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

Well, coming from The Best Niece Ever, how could I disagree?!