Guavas are a sweet-smelling tropical fruit that many are not familiar with. I, however, know about them all too well.
Guavas are such a nostalgic fruit for me. When I was young, we had a guava tree in our backyard. My siblings, friends, and I used to climb it all the time!
We loved to pick the fruits and munch on them while having a serious discussion on what game to play next. That’s why one whiff and bite of it brings back fond memories of childhood.
When I found out, later on in life, that guava trees only grow in certain states, and that not many know of it, I felt a little sad for my childhood favorite.
It’s got such a unique flavor and deserves every bit of fame that other fruits have. So, if you’re wondering what guava tastes like, this one’s for you.
Today is the day you learn everything about guava – what it is, its different types, its aroma, texture, and taste, and its uses and proper storage. It’s guava be fun!
What is Guava?
Guava is a small, oval fruit that comes from a tree in the myrtle family. The tree grows only in tropical and subtropical climates. That’s why you’ll only see it in Florida, Hawaii, the Virgin Islands, and in certain areas of Texas and California.
There are several types of guava, each having varying characteristics. For instance, some guavas are as small as a lemon, while others can grow to the size of a melon.
While all kinds are green when unripe, their colors vary once they ripen. Some are yellow and orange, while others are pink and red.
- The skin of the Tropical Pink guava has a bright yellow hue when ripe. On the inside, it has a beautiful pinkish glow.
- The Tropical Yellow or the Mexican Cream turns creamy white when ripe. On the inside, though, it looks yellowish-red.
- Similar to the Mexican Cream, the Tropical White also has white skin and yellow flesh.
- The Red Malaysian has red skin and pink flesh. Because of its unique look, it is most often used as an ornament.
- The Lemon Guava is a lot smaller than other varieties. It has a yellow hue both on the outside and inside.
What Does Guava Taste Like?
The guava has a unique taste that’s hard to describe, but I will try my best! In general, ripe guavas have a sweet and flowery flavor with a crunchy, grainy, and pear-like texture.
Some say it is a cross between a pear, a mango, and a strawberry, while others say it’s a combo of a grapefruit and a pear. I say it’s delicious.
Oh, and the smell is fantastic too! The riper it gets, the stronger its aroma gets.
While you may also eat it when it is unripe, the taste and texture are a lot different – it’s predominantly tangy and acidic, and its skin and flesh are tough. But not too tough that you couldn’t bite into it.
The level of sweetness varies from one type of guava to another. Here’s a brief comparison:
- The Tropical Pink has a mildly sweet flavor and super strong scent. Its texture may be either smooth or coarse.
- The Tropical Yellow is the sweetest among all guavas. It is mainly used as a dessert ingredient.
- The Tropical White tastes like most guavas but has a squishy consistency since it has more liquid than other varieties.
- The Red Malaysian also has a mild sweetness to it. But again, it is more commonly used for decoration.
- The Lemon Guava has a very strong lemon scent and a delicate balance of sweet and tangy.
Regardless of the variety, you have to be careful with the seeds. They are edible but could be tough. They’re small, but not too small that you can’t avoid them. So it’s up to you whether you want to eat them or steer clear of them.
How Do You Know When Guava is Ripe?
Apart from the obvious change in color as I’ve mentioned earlier, here’s another telltale sign that your guava has ripened: the smell. Ripe guavas have a sweet fragrance that becomes even deeper as it ripens further.
You can tell by the texture as well. The skin will be softer, and the flesh will be almost as tender as papaya.
Best Ways to Eat Guava
The guava is a versatile fruit. There are many ways to eat and use it! You may eat it as is, like I do, with the skin and the seeds and everything.
But, you can also use it as an ingredient in savory and sweet dishes, and beverages. Here are some exciting ideas for you to try:
- If you’re eating raw guava, try sprinkling some salt on top to enhance its flavor. Just be sure to give it a good rinse, okay? Also, scan for worms before biting into it! Raw guavas are loved by worms, so don’t forget to do a quick check.
- Guava juice, anyone? This is a fantastic choice for kids because not only is it super tasty, but oh so nutritious too. Just run it through a juicer to get that spectacularly sweet guava essence. The blender works too! Just strain the pulp after blending.
- Here’s one for the adults: a refreshing guava mint cocktail! All you need is guava juice, mint, tequila, and lime juice.
- Or how about a ridiculously flavorful guava jam? This spread is fantastic with toast, crackers, bagels – every type of bread. And try it with peanut butter too for a yummy PB&J!
- Guava also tastes great in a salad! Just slice the fruit up and toss it in your favorite mix.
- Or, why not give your ice cream or sundae a tropical flair by topping it with ripe guava slices? De-licious.
What’s the Best Way to Store Guava?
Proper storage for guava depends on what stage they are in the ripening process. If they’re still firm, let them sit on the counter for a few days until it ripens.
But, if you want to speed things up, place it in a paper bag along with an apple or banana. These fruits release a natural ripening agent called ethylene as they ripen, and the proximity will help your guava ripen faster.
Once your guava is ripe, place it in a plastic or paper bag and store it in the crisper drawer of your fridge. The bag will shield it from contact with other fruits, thereby preventing it from further ripening. But do not keep it in the fridge much longer, because its lifespan is fleeting. Be sure to eat it within 4 days.
If you want to keep it around much longer, try freezing them! It’s a little complicated, though. You’ll need to peel the guavas first and make a simple syrup. Then, place the guavas in an airtight container and pour the simple syrup over them until submerged. Freeze and enjoy for up to 4 months to a year.