Feijoas. Who doesn’t love them?? A South American fruit that immigrated to the shores of New Zealand and is such a blessing to so many gardens around the country. They grow well, require minimal care and yet they provide an abundance of fruit in Autumn. The taste is a cross between a pineapple and a guava. They are pollinated by birds. I learned that after our first season, I kept on chasing the birds out of the trees all day long, fearing that they were eating my feijoa flowers. When I confided my frustration to a friend, she said, “You Egg! That’s how they’re pollinated!” (Egg, by the way, is the NZ colloquial way to call someone out when they are being truly dumb.)
One or two feijoa trees will meet the needs of even the most voracious family. Each tree can produce between 15-25 kilograms of fruit. Another curious feature is that one never has to feel around for a ripe feijoa to pick, simply wait for the tree to drop their ripened fruits and collect by the bucketful every day during the short 5-7 week window. Feijoas are so versatile, you can turn them into a tasty compote, a delicious crumble, or simple cut in half, scoop out the flesh and enjoy them au naturelle! They raise the taste sensation of any humble fruit salad to a whole new dimension.
But wait, there’s more to this than just scoop and discard. The peels are useful too! I have made a Feijoa Fizz for the last three years. It’s simple, delicious, economical and highly beneficial for the gut too. When I gave my son a taste of my recent batch, his eyebrows raised and he exclaimed, “That’s a good cider!” Well, that is the utmost compliment from my son, so I will treasure it, as mostly, he just thinks I’m an Egg.
Feijoa Fizz Recipe
* Take one large glass jar and fill it with filtered water
* Throw in some feijoa skins (make sure they are clean, no dirt)
* Cover the mixture with a cloth and leave on the kitchen counter to slowly ferment
* After 24hrs, discard the old skins and add new skins
* Leave them to ferment for 24hrs, repeat this process for 3-4 days
* Pour the liquid through a cotton cloth to remove any fruity bits
* Bottle the fermented liquid and date it. Make sure your lids are tight fitted screw-on lids that can handle a bit of pressure.
* Leave for a week at most, at room temperature, before drinking. If you need to keep them longer, refrigerate the Feijoa Fizz to avoid it exploding!
Another simple way to enjoy feijoas is to cut them open, scoop out and blend the flesh before pouring it into ice cube trays. Freeze for 24hrs, then press them out into sealable freezer-safe containers. This way, the feijoa season can last you so much longer, simply pop some cubes into a smoothie blend, or desserts requiring that tropical flavour!
So simple, yet delicious. Simply delicious! Enjoy!