This sweet, fragrant tropical fruit grows in its native South America as well as in California, Florida and Hawaii. There are many guava varieties, ranging in size from a small egg to a medium apple. Typically, the fruit is slightly oval in shape and about 2 inches in diameter. The color of the guava's thin skin can range from yellow to red to purple-black, the flesh from pale yellow to bright red. Guavas are available from June to March, depending on the region. Choose those that give to gentle palm pressure but that have not yet begun to show spots. To be eaten raw, guavas should be very ripe. Store green guavas at room temperature, ripe ones in the refrigerator's vegetable drawer for up to 4 days. Guavas make excellent jams, preserves and sauces. Canned whole guavas as well as juice, jams, jellies, preserves and sauce are available in many supermarkets. Fresh guavas are a good source of vitamins A and C. See also guava paste.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
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