Feijoas on the menu – it must be autumn

Nikau Cafe's poached feijoas - hard to resist!

Feijoas are back again – time to rejoice, time to indulge!

That’s if you’re a feijoa-lover like me. It occurred to me when downloading this photo, taken this week during breakfast at our favourite Nikau Cafe,  that I write a lot about food – particularly fruit. And every time I write about a fruit, I claim it as a favourite.

The truth is that with each change of season, and change of harvest, I’m reminded of yet another fruity treasure I love.

For those of you unfamiliar with the feijoa – it is a smoothish green-skinned fruit resembling the guava. It has a similar gritty texture without the gorgeous big seeds; it has a fragrance similar to that of some asian fruits (not the duran!). The feijoa is a native of South America (according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary) and got its name from the Brazilian naturist J. da Silva Feijo.

I enjoy them any and every way they come. It wasn’t that long ago that they were eaten only in their natural state – cut in half and the flesh scooped out with a spoon. Then as soon as the taste caught on, so did the serving alternatives – ice-cream, pies, chutneys, relishes,  jams, cakes – and last but not least the amazing 42 Below feijoa vodka.

Some time ago, when reading an article on feijoas I discovered you can peel them and freeze them whole in airtight bags. What a revelation that’s been. With feijoa pie now being one of our family favourites, I can offer it long after the season has ended.

Many years ago when I was working part-time in retail, one of the department managers discovered my love of feijoas. He had a feijoa tree in his garden – a prolific provider of the gorgeous fruit. Feijoas are the sort of fruit people seem to love or hate – and most of his friends were in the latter camp. During the season, he would bring in bags of the luscious fruit and hand them over to me, knowing they would not be wasted.

There is something really special about eating gifts from someone else’s garden. Much more flavour!

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