Backyard ban­ter

Central Leader - - NEWS - By ALISON PERKINS

Brought to you by neigh­bourly.co.nz 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 Duchess Catherine on their visit to New Zealand; diced fei­joa in syrup with gin­ger and

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