Can you find a more polarising fruit than the feijoa?
Mention it in a social setting and you get one of two responses: ‘‘I love them!’’ or a wrinkling of the nose.
I noticed feijoas falling from a neighbour’s tree on to my driveway at the end of March and picked some up. They had an odd fragrant smell. Were they ripe? What could I do with them? It was a mystery to me (I may be betraying a non-Kiwi heritage here).
Free fruit seemed to be quite literally falling from the sky so it seemed like a good idea to find out what could be done with this gift.
I could have turned to the online search engines but I had a suspicion that I was surrounded by feijoa experts.
I decided to write a post on Neighbourly.co.nz instead and I didn’t have to wait long for the replies to start flooding in.
Roasted feijoa chutney, feijoa and apple crumble, pies, feijoa cake, fruit salad, feijoa icecream, trifle, cocktails – it turns out the flexible feijoa can be the star in many different dishes.
You can eat them straight up by cutting them in half and scooping the flesh out with a spoon, or stew them with star anise and dollop them on to your breakfast cereal. My neighbours were full of helpful suggestions. It was recommended that I eat them up before winter for a good dose of vitamin C; I learned that 100 grams of fresh fruit provides about a third of your daily recommended intake.
The palm-sized green fruit with the funny smell and tart jelly-like inner proved to be pretty popular. Further investigation revealed that feijoa was served up to Prince William and Kate on their visit to New