Sunday, June 22, 2008

Puerto Rican Fruit of the Week: Feijoa

Puerto Rico has such a wide variety of produce that I thought I would share it with you weekly! Plus I need a break from Health Issues in the Latino Community, which is a fantastic and highly recommended book, but less fun than blogging.

Feijoas, also known as Pineapple Guavas or Guavasteens, are about the size and shape of an egg. It is traditionally eaten like a kiwi,by cutting it in half and scooping out the flesh with a spoon. The flesh has an interesting, sort of gritty texture, and Wikipedia thinks it is a good ingredient for skin exfoliants.

The most interesting thing about feijoas are their smell. The smell is captivating and very distinct. My first thought was licorice, then maybe a little pineapple, then back to licorice. I couldn't put my finger on this enticing scent, but after doing some research, it turns out that the chemical methyl benzoate most closely approximates the feijoa's unique smell, and so this chemical is a popular additive in perfumes and other smelly stuff. Even more interesting, methyl benzoate is often used to train drug sniffing dogs because cocaine hydrochloride decomposes first to methyl alcohol and benzole acid, and then ultimately to methyl benzoate! No wonder feijoas are so addicting!! (10 points if you can write out the chemical formula for above chemical reaction)

So my thoughts on feijoas are as follows:

1. Cute and yummy snack

2. Would make an AWESOME addition to a fruit smoothie or a fruit salad. Their very unique scent and flavor, and NOT to quote Rachel Ray (barf), would be "the thing that makes people go hmmm...What is that?"
(For the record, if anything Rachel Ray makes causes you to go 'hmmm...,' it's NUTMEG! HAHA Rachel Ray! I ruined your secret ingredient!)

3. Mixologists and fancy pants chefs of the world hear this: There needs to be a feijoa martini, immediately. Find a way to import this highly perishable fruit, puree the flesh, and serve it up with some feijoa vodka in a chilled glass and I promise you I will be paying you a visit. Feijoa was meant to be a drink. I wouldn't mind if it was in some kind of desert either, maybe like a tropical fruit crepe or a panna cotta with feijoa sauce. Mmmmm....

Okay, now that I have made myself sufficiently hungry, it's off to bed to rest for my early morning Zumba class! Go out and try some feijoas!

No comments: