Fresh Feijoa (photo courtest Hort Research)

Fresh Feijoa (photo courtesy Hort Research)

Guava season is coming upon us here in California, and I personally couldn’t be more thrilled. But besides the common apple guava, other cultivars manage to sneak their way into the market from time to time. The feijoa (pronounced “fay-YO-ah” or “fay-ZHO-ah”) is one such guava that has gained in popularity.

Also called the pineapple guava or less commonly the guavasteen, the feijoa has begun sprouting up more and more in produce marts and farmers markets. Its intoxicating aroma — redolent of pineapple and strawberry, with a hint of mint — and creamy pulp make it pretty easy to fall in love with.

While they are now coming into season in California, they also find a welcome home in South America, and have been widely planted and marketed in New Zealand. The feijoa’s delicate texture and tropical flavor lend themselves well to smoothies, salads, and desserts. The flesh of the feijoa, which is also edible, albeit slightly sour, is a great source of pectin which makes it perfect for making jelly and other preserves. It has gone a little mainstream, having been infused into 42 Below Feijoa Vodka, which makes for a killer screwdriver by the way.

If you are unable to find feijoa in your local market, it can also be ordered through White Dove Farm (via LocalHarvest.org).