The Hidden Fruit

The Acca fruit is delicious to eat and is also used in natural cosmetic products

The garden at Cantueso never ceases to amaze us with new delights and this autumn we have just tasted a most unusual fruit. The Feijoa or Acca Sellowiana, commonly known as Pineapple Guava, has been growing in our garden for about 12 years and we never new it produced fruit. It is normally an uninspiring green bush that only looks exceptional in spring when it flowers for a week or so and as we are told the petals are edible, watch out for next year’s menu! It is a native plant of South America, although grown around the world, even as far north as Scotland, where fruiting is unlikely.

The flower petals can be used in salads and have a hint of cinnamon

The green fruit matures in autumn, and is about the size of a small chicken’s egg. It has a sweet, aromatic flavour, which tastes a little like pineapple, apple and mint. The fruit falls to the ground when ripe and its pulp resembles the closely related guava, with a gritty texture.

Our gardener José tells us that the reason it is rarely seen in shops is due to the short shelf life once ripe, and although we kept some in a fridge the taste was never better than when we collected them every day.

Overdosing on them was easy but fortunately, according to the experts, the nutritional values are high, particularly in vitamin C. Next year if we are fortunate to have more fruit we will try fruit smoothies, chutney, yoghurt and maybe jam that are said to be popular in the main growing areas.

The green fruit is easy to miss as it doesn’t change colour even when ripe

Top two photos courtesy of Didier Descouens and reproduced under the creative commons licence.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Acca_sellowiana_Fruit_MHNT_Fronton.jpg

Didier Descouens [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons