Guava is the most common among fruit trees. It has no certain origin and has been cultivated and distributed by man, bird and other animals through the years.
However, guava is believed to have originated in southern Mexico or Central America. From there it spread to most of the tropical and sub tropical areas of the world. This fruit is best adapted to tropical climate regions such as Florida and Hawaii. It can hardly survive in a frost.
A guava tree is usually tall with spreading branches. Leaves are opposite, oval or oblong, evergreen, and aromatic when crushed. Flowers are slightly fragrant and white. The fruit is round or ovoid or pear-shaped with thin skin. Next to the skin is a thick layer of granular flesh. The inner pulp may be white, yellowish, or pink and to normally filled with numerous small, hard seeds. Some of the guava varieties come without seeds.
Though guava is available year round, it is the summer season that brings maximum guavas to market. Ripe guavas have a fragrant aroma and may be of a strong or mild type. Guavas are picked when not fully ripe. Two types of guava are found – thin flesh with many seeds or thick flesh with less seeds.
The pulp of a guava is sweet or a bit acidic. One medium sized guava contains 51 calories. This fruit is a good source of protein, carbohydrates, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium and a small amount of sodium.
Guava is not only popular as fresh table fruit; it is also consumed as fresh juice. It can be processed in many other forms such as jam, jelly, pastes and marmalade. It can be eaten as a snack – sliced with little sugar and cream. Guava also mixes well with other tropical fruits in salads.
Because of its sweet taste, guava can be used to prepare pies, cakes, puddings, sauces, and other desserts.