Solving a Fruit Mystery

Over the Christmas holidays, my sister and her husband came to visit The Fruit Adventurer family in Ottawa. While in town, my sister and I decided to make pho (Vietnamese soup), and so off we went on a trip to Chinatown to purchase some ingredients.

As my sister and I headed to Kowloon Market, The Fruit Adventurer in me was secretly buzzing with excitement at the prospect of spotting some interesting fruit to try. And I am happy to report I did not come home empty handed! While shopping for bean sprouts, thai basil and cilantro in the produce section, I came across a package of green fruit, descriptively labelled as “fruit.”

The Fruit Adventurer never shies away from fruits unknown, and so I took them home to solve a fruit mystery. However, when I took the fruit out of the package and got a closer look at them, my heart sank at the sudden feeling that I had a couple of dinged up pears on my hands.

Not to be deterred, I cut lengthwise into one to reveal this:

Yes! Not a pear at all. With this seed pattern, I immediately suspected that I had found me some guavas. I’ve only ever seen the small, round, pink-fleshed guavas of South America, but the seeds on these babies were still a dead giveaway.  And since I bought these fruits at an Asian market, I reasoned that they were probably Asian guavas.  A quick google search of “asian guava” confirmed my suspicions, as the images popping up matched exactly with my mystery fruit.

Now being 100% sure that these green, pear-like fruits were guavas, I excitedly cut a chunk away from the seeds and bit down onto a very hard piece of fruit. Rookie move… I should have known it wasn’t ripe since the guava was not giving off its signature perfume.

I waited a couple of days to eat the next guava, until I could smell that heavenly guava scent wafting off the fruit, and I now sit here eating a tasty Asian guava.  The fun part is I’m eating it whole, kind of like I would an apple or pear.  Be careful though!  If you want to eat a guava this way, be very cautious of the seeds as they are HARD and you don’t want to break any teeth!

To me, the Asian guava has a mild guava-ey taste, with notes of apple, as well as an interesting hint of pine needles. Overall I was happy with this fruit adventure, although I’ve had guavas right off the tree in South America, and so I can’t help but feel that these particular Asian guavas did not live up to their true potential.  I suspect it has something to do with the guavas sitting on boats and trucks for a few weeks before they made it to Kowloon Market in Ottawa.

Still, I’m glad I solved this fruit mystery, and that I now know Asian guavas exist.  On my next trip to Asia, I’ll be keeping my eyes open for the Asian guava in the hopes of having a proper guava experience.