Since arriving in New Zealand in February, we’ve been enjoying an almost constant supply of feijoas. A native to South America, feijoas are sometimes called pineapple guavas or guavasteens. They’re easy to grow, and it seems like every backyard has a bush or two dropping ripe fruit at this time of year!

Feijoa, May 2011
A cut feijoa is full of lovely patterns and emits a tasty aroma.

Calista eating a feijoa, May 2011
Our girls love this fruit and have been learning how to scoop out all the ripe flesh from their centres.

While we were staying with the Downers, Mandy and I picked two large boxes of the fallen fruit from a neighbour’s hedge. We left the boxes outside on the verandah because they were too big to bring inside.

Within a week, all the feijoas were finished. I know David ate some, but the vast majority were nibbled on by the children who would attack the box in the morning before breakfast, sometimes turning their lips and teeth black from the skin. No one complained of sore tummies, but the children’s appetite definitely dropped off.

Our last lot of feijoas came from Johnny’s place. Johnny came up to visit us at the Downers and brought a huge basket of feijoas as a lovely gift.

Feijoas are difficult to store and transport for long periods of time, which explains why they haven’t been commercially exported as a fruit crop. Locals sell small quantities on the side of the road or at local markets, but they aren’t widely available in supermarkets. Mostly, they’re a beautiful food that is given and exchanged as part of a relationship — won’t it be nice when all commerce is like this?