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What is a feijoa ?

Feijoa is a tropical plant commonly found in Brazil; it is also known as the pineapple guava. This plant prefers warm climate and will definitely suffer in cold weather. Feijoa are commonly bred and used to make hedges and fences due to its capability to grow extremely fast. The fruit is sub acid with a pineapple-like taste that has sweeter notes of guava and strawberry. In America, feijoa fruits are rarely found in the market but you may see feijoa in most of the grocers if in season, which differs depending on the area.

The feijoa bush reaches approximately 5 meters high and have pale gray branch with greenish gray oval leaves. The flowers flashes white and maroon, and create a startling and pleasantly addition to landscaping. Trained and planted close to each other, feijoa create a great privacy screen or serves as windbreaker in temperate zones. This plant prefers a little sun and protection from direct exposure.

The feijoa fruit starts as a green ovoid shape covered in tiny white hairs. The feijoa fruit remain yellow as it grows and turns into an orange with red tinge when ripe, and the hairs will fall off. When sliced open, the feijoa shows white grainy flesh and pulp-enclosed seeds. The feijoa fruit also has a rich scent, which begins to release before it is fully ripe.

There are numerous breeders of feijoa, some use the entire plant for fence, hedges and landscaping while other grow feijoa for its fruit. The plant is cultivated all throughout Latin America, as well as Australia and several parts of the United States. In most northern areas of the United States, it is used for landscaping, because the plant itself is ice tolerant, but the fruit is not.

The feijoa flowers are also safe to eat, although zesty, and are best eaten plain, sprinkled on salads, or used as a garnish. The fruit itself should be peeled before eaten and sprinkled with lemon juice to keep from browning. Feijoa is often used to garnish fruit salads, as well as syrup preserved, cooked in puddings and fermented to make alcohol. Some other uses for feijoa are chutneys, as well as adding flavor to any beverages using its syrup.

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