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How to select and store guava

Many people have probably tried guava juice or guava candies, especially if you’ve ever dined at an Asian restaurant. Guavas, also known as apple guavas because of their size and texture, are commonly grown in tropical regions like Central America, Mexico, tropical Asia, tropical Africa, and the Mediterranean coast. They’ve also been successfully grown in the southern
United States.

With a lumpy-textured rind, the entire fruit is edible but some choose to scoop out the small seeds from the soft flesh in the middle. They range from being the size of a small lime to the size of a baseball. The larger ones are easier to eat because the flesh is firmer, and the distinctive seeds are less noticeable.

They have a light sweet flavour with a satisfying crunch, much like an apple. In Asian countries, guavas are often cut into wedge slices like an apple and then eaten fresh on their own or served with a spicy salt as a pre-dinner appetizer like mangoes and papayas or served with chocolate as dessert.

How to Select

Choose guavas that feel heavy for their size. The rind should be free of blemishes and yield to slight pressure (kind of like a pear would). The rind will range from being green to a light, almost faded yellow. For pink-fleshed varieties, the more yellow the rind is, the riper it is. The outside colour isn’t an indication of ripeness with green apple varieties.

For the most part, guavas will be fairly firm, and will soften slightly when they are ripe enough to eat. There is more edible fruit when they are the size of a baseball or a tennis ball, but they are still edible when they are as small as limes. The smaller ones may be more tart, and are better used for cooking or baking.

How to Store and Ripen

Guavas can be left on the counter for a few days to ripen if firm, but once ripe they should be stored in a plastic bag in the fridge and will last for several days.

You can tell when guavas are ripe and ready to eat as they produce a heady fragrance and yield to gentle pressure. This is when they are at their peak.

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