Sunday, November 29, 2009

foodie hunter's first feijoa

you may have noticed dear reader....that i disappeared for a few days as i was with the family over the extended weekend, creating a separate set of "non-thanksgiving" traditions and i had a lovely time. perhaps at another time, i'll discuss why i decided to not partake on the festivities the "day of". while i didn't blog over the weekend and actually spent (gasp!) minimal time on a computer, i did take quite a few pictures over this past weekend and am still going through them all. as i was going through the pictures, i recalled a "foodie hunter first". this weekend was the first time i tasted feijoa (also known as pineapple guava and guavasteen). the heart sister has a few of these trees in the backyard and the kiddies (particularly EC) like to gather the fallen fruit to be eaten quickly. after the heart sister prepped one of the tear drop shaped fruit, i understood why the kiddies like them so much.




there is this fragrance about them that is very unusual. it is sweet ...yes...but there is also something else.....the strength of the fragrance reminds me of night blooming jasmine...except sweetly fruity....with some honeysuckle thrown in......it is quite lovely and very enticing.


if i smelled this as a perfume, i would have bought it on the spot.

anyway, the texture of the fruit near the edges is that of a pear....and the texture of the center is completely opposite...it is quite soft and a bit slippery. it is a sweet tart fruit and the flavors explode on the tongue. while i enjoyed it fresh, i mentioned to the heart sister that this would make some great homemade jam.

then proceeded to go a harvesting in their backyard.

you see, the kiddies are 5 and 3. i am not. so i can be quite determinedly focused in finding the fruit that may have been hiding underneath leaves and am willing to crouch at the base of the tree/bush and focus quite intently on every inch of ground.

so i returned to the kitchen with the harvested bounty cradled in my pajama top....


and proceeded to make some jam.

which was super simple. i cleaned the feijoa and sliced it....


then put it all in a pot with some agave.



cooked it on high heat for a while.....



then turned it down to a pretty good simmer.....



until it was the thick consistency i wanted.....


and it was done in no time.

the heart sister (who was watching this process) mentioned how she wished that i would take videos of me cooking stuff...so people could see how easy it really is. she said that when she's read about me making my own preserves at home....she really didn't believe that it was as simple as i was describing....until she saw me make it.

i thought this was particularly funny.

so there you have it....an outside observer that can attest to how fast and easy it is to make this jam.

if you are in the san francisco area, apparently, the san francisco area has an ideal climate for this fruit. it seems that this fruit has origins in different areas of south america like brazil and argentina. if you see this fragrant fruit, i highly recommend that you give this fruit a try. the heart sister tells me that you have to make certain that the fruit is ripe (they fall from the tree when they are ripe)....or else it is going to taste like medicine. yeah, i don't know how you will know in a store....i guess you'll have to trust your grocer. yes, i know, that isn't exactly helpful....but i just wanted to put that warning out there.

well, i am definitely a fan of feijoa.....fresh or in desserts......jez, i bet this fruit would be absolutely AMAZING as a sorbet.....or in a tart. we had the homemade feijoa jam with a triple cream cheese (mt tam) from cow girl creamery on crackers and it was a huge hit. the heart sister gave me a few to take home with me. i'll probably eat a couple fresh and then make a jam with the rest of it as well. it will be nice treat throughout the week.

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