Love or loathe them, it goes without question that this time of the year they are everywhere! Trees in Gardens all over Franklin are laden heavy with glorious green berry type fruit the size, in some cases of small footballs! Feijoa stalls pop up along the roadside as people are inundated with their excesses.
So what can you do with such an abundance? We set out to find a little more about our very unique Autumn fruit.
Feijoas are not native to New Zealand, they were introduced in the 1920’s and prospered magnificently. Our climate was ideal and with little or few pests to ravage the fruit, they quickly flourished. One of the big appeals of the Feijoa is their pest resistance as this means there is no need at all for any chemical sprays. They also need a sub-tropical climate but with a distinct drop in temperature or winter season.
The feijoa was first collected in southern Brazil by a German explorer Freidrich Sellow in 1815 and named after the Brazilian botanist, Joam da Silva Feijo. It arrived in Europe some 70 odd years later in 1890, being introduced there as an ornamental by French botanist and horticulturist, Dr Edouard Andre.
Its success as a commercial crop is limited as it has a rather distinctive taste, a somewhat aromatic flavour with tropical overtones including pineapple and guava (in California, the fruit is known as “pineapple guava”). It also has a terrible tendency to bruise easily despite its hardy looking shell. Feijoas need to be planted in groups with two or more varieties to fruit as they require cross pollination although some varieties have been developed that are self-fertile.
Feijoas are ready to eat when slightly soft and when the jellied sections in the centre of the fruit are clear. Depending on the variety this may happen on the tree or within 2 -5 days of natural fruit drop, the season running from late April.
Feijoas, can be made into smoothies, cakes, muffins, slices, chutneys, drinks, crumbles, pies, the list is endless and are an excellent source of dietary fibre and Vitamin C. Feijoa fruit is also a good source of the secondary plant metabolites known as flavonoids. Flavonoids are known to play an important role in the prevention of cancer, by inhibiting the growth of tumours. They are also an ally in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. They are also great to freeze to enjoy year round!
For this month’s readers we have a great giveaway of what must be close to the Feijoa bible. Check out the giveaway bubble and harvest some of your own.
The Feijoa Recipe Book is the world’s first full colour professional cookbook, dedicated to feijoas. There are 41 feijoa recipes including 9 new savoury dishes, 9 muffin and cake recipes, 19 delicious feijoa desserts and 4 sweet treats. Written by a New Zealander and available to buy from www.feijoa.co.nz.
Email your name and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org with feijoa in the subject line to be in to win!