Friday, 22 April 2016

Feijoa Season is here!


Unless you're a New Zealander you might not understand the gloriousness of the start of the Feijoa season. Feijoas are the fruit of the tree officially called Acca Sellowiana and are sweet green nuggets of joy. The feijoa is from the Myrtaceae plant family and is native to Brazil and Uruguay. Feijoas can be considered as either warm climate or subtropical. First introduced into New Zealand in the early 1900's the fruit was small and it was not for another 20 years before new cultivars were imported that were larger with improved flavour. Now in NZ there are many different varieties to choose for whatever kind you like. For me i like my Feijoas big so have planted three varieties: Apollo, Mammoth & Golden Goose. I'm especially looking forward to Golden Goose as its fruits are extra large around 12cm long and up to 200gms!
The fruiting season starts in April and runs through to June. The fruit, maturing in autumn, is green, ellipsoid & about the size of an egg. It has a sweet, aromatic flavor, which tastes like pineapple, apple and mint. The flesh is juicy and is divided into a clear, gelatinous seed pulp and a firmer, slightly granular, opaque flesh nearer the skin. The fruit falls to the ground when ripe and at its fullest flavor and is best gathering from the ground, but they may be picked from the tree prior to falling.The fruit pulp resembles the closely related guava, having a gritty texture. Feijoa fruit has a distinctive, potent scent. Another advantage of this tree is the flowers. Over Christmas they have a stunning display of red brush-like flowers. As far as Landscape Value a lot of people plant Feijoas as a hedge or screen as it forms a dense bush especially as a hedge in multiple plantings. It is an ever-green shrub or tree that grows from 1-5 metres in height. It usually will start fruiting in its second year in the ground. The best way to eat them is to cut in half and then run a teaspoon around the edge and scoop out the flesh. You can eat them just as is straight out of the skin or else you could add them in baking, add in a smoothie, over ice-cream or you can even make it into wine. My favourite recipe is Feijoa Crumble & here's the recipe. 

150 g butter, diced
1 cup flour
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup soft brown sugar

Fruit Base:
20 Feijoas, peeled & diced.
3 Apples, peeled & diced.
1/4 cup Sugar.

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. To make the crumble place all ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until combined.
3. Place the fruit in a soufflé or baking dish. Sprinkle over the sugar. Top with the crumble mixture. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until crumble is crisp and golden.
4. Serve with Vanilla Ice-cream or Whipped Cream.


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