Feijoas Are a National Pastime
The little green fruit that’s native to Brazil, feijoa, is one of the most vitamin C-rich foods you can eat. But just for the record, New Zealand discovered them before Australia.
“We’re going to smash feijoas,” exclaims a male New Zealander with a thick accent and irrefutable grin.
The proud Kiwi is carrying more than just an air of excitement, as he maintains a stronghold on the 5kg box of unusual green fruits he just bought at Hinterland Feijoas: a 4.45ha feijoa farm engulfed by mountain slopes on the Sunshine Coast.
Despite momentary confusion about lingo from across the ditch and a related fear that the natural treasures may soon to be pounded and destroyed, SBS correspondent Yasmin Noone is reassured that ‘smashing’ feijoas is a New Zealand expression and past-time that involves devouring the fruit en-masse.
If you haven’t seen a feijoa before, imagine a fruit resembling a lime that – once cut open – looks like a cucumber inside. Feijoas have a sweet flavour reminiscent of guava crossed with pineapple and quince. To eat a feijoa, just cut it in half horizontally and scoop out the jelly flesh as you would a kiwifruit.
Even though feijoas – the fruit of the feijoa plant (feijoa sellowiana) – are native to Brazil, New Zealanders have made them their own. “We used to get feijoas by the wheelbarrow and then push it around to sell them to our neighbours,” says the feijoa fan, reminiscing about the flavours of his childhood. Now, living in Australia, he “smashes” feijoas whenever they’re in season: from March to June in the Southern Hemisphere, depending on where they are grown.
It’s a super high fibre fruit that’s rich in vitamin C,” says co-owner of Hinterland Feijoas and feijoa fanatic, Sally Hookey. “Feijoas also contain folic acid, so they are fantastic for pregnant women. On top of that, they’ve got potassium, magnesium and other vitamins and minerals.”
Original article by Yasmin Noone, SBS, March 25, 2019.
Photo by Yasmin Noone.