New Zealand Wants the World to Love Feijoas
At this time of year, New Zealanders in the diaspora will do just about anything to get their hands on ‘green gold’. Now exporters have their eye on a wider market. Guardian Australia journalist and New Zealander, Elle Hunt reports.
“‘To most New Zealanders, imagining life without feijoas is almost unthinkable.’ Yes, this is marketing copy, but as with all the best marketing copy, it is also true,” Hunt writes. “At this time of year, these small, smooth green fruits are plentiful in New Zealand, traded by the bucket for next to nothing and infusing everything from chocolate to crumbles, ice-cream to vodka with their distinctive, soapy-citrus flavour.
“Physically they are unassuming, a little like oval limes of a darker green, but their taste defies description, which is ‘rather challenging’ for Pole to Pole, the company ‘on a mission to promote NZ Feijoas around the world!’ They give it a go anyway, in a guide for growers to ‘marketing your fruit’.
“‘Many liken them to guavas or quince, but their complex flavour also brings to mind strawberries and pineapple, with a pear-like gritty texture, and a hint of mint.’
“The best indication of their taste is their powerful and distinctive fragrance, which Wikipedia says ‘strongly’ resembles that of the chemical methyl benzoate.
“Pole to Pole, based in the Bay of Plenty, export Zeijoa-brand feijoas around the world. Its target market is clear: New Zealand has one of the largest diasporas of any country in the world, with an estimated 600,000 citizens in Australia alone. Forget about not being able to vote, or the university fees hike: New Zealanders never feel less at home in Australia than for the three months of the year friends and family back home are experiencing peak feijoa fatigue.”
Hunt is based in Sydney.
Original article by: Elle Hunt, The Guardian, May 13, 2017
Photo by: Jonny Weeks