Guavas? Here?!

summary: in search of apricots; buying guavas and plums instead; does all fruit have to be picked green and ripened off the tree?!; (no photographic evidence)

Yesterday, we rode our bikes over towards Cabbage Town and as we were meandering along tree-lined streets and admiring lovely almost-century homes or despising the hideous giant high-rises that replaced them, we suddenly spotted a little temporary outdoor market selling fruits and vegetables galore.

We went closer to investigate. I was hoping to see apricots. (According to FoodLand Ontario, Ontario apricots are in season in July and August.) Rats. No apricots at all. Not even non-local apricots. (Admittedly, this hasn’t been the best summer for apricots.) The vendor thought there might be apricots in a couple of weeks.

BUT, there were baskets of yellow plums that smelled like plums! Of course we got them.

Also, there were clear plastic boxes filled with guavas. Tiny guavas. The size of slightly over-sized golf balls. But they smelled just like guavas. Like the best guavas. I looked at the label on the top of the box. It said “Grown and packaged in Mississauga”.

me: They grow guavas in Canada?! I didn’t know that! No wonder they’re so small.

vendor: No no. They’re from Mexico and packaged here.

me: (so disappointed) oh….

We decided to get them anyway. They smelled so intoxicatingly of guavas. And they were only $2! …I WANT to support local farmers. I really do! But how could we not get that box of 20 or so guavas?

Because I adore guavas! I’ve been dreaming about guavas ever since we had them oh so many years ago that we were travelling in India. At that time, I’d never had a guava. Guavas were in season when we were there so there were guavas galore. I was absolutely entranced by their refreshing slightly earthy crispness.

They were sweet and juicy. They were sold on wooden tables by the side of the road. We would smell their wonderful scent long before we saw lovely apple sized guavas stacked into pyramids on the tables. Every time we smelled guavas, we followed the aroma until we arrived at the stall; we had to buy them.

By the roadside, we saw a man selling Ahmrud (guava) with pink flesh instead of white. He had both white and pink. We asked if he could tell by looking if they were pink and he said yes, of course. We asked for 4 with pink flesh. Before we knew what was happening, he pulled out a huge knife and hacked one of the fruits in half. It was white so he put it down. He picked up another fruit but we stopped him from cutting any more to go to waste. We took our chances and ended up with 4 white guavas – still delicious.

-ejm, Allahabad, 20 December, 1989

Yesterday, immediately after buying the guavas, we washed two and excitedly chomped into them. DISAPPOINTMENT!!! Too dry. Not crisp. Not quite sweet enough. Nothing like the tree-ripened guavas we got when we were in India.

But promising, none the less. They did taste and smell like guavas, after all. T wanted to make guava milk shake like the ones that he had in Sudan… he described it to me. Guavas mashed with a little sugar and cold milk in a blender and then strained. It sounded fantastic.

And then I made the small error of saying “what about guava ice cream?”

When we got home, did we take a picture of the little guavas? No. We were too busy, washing and mashing the guavas for guava ice cream. FABULOUS guava ice cream!!

The recipe? Pretty much the same as the one for mango ice cream. Except that T pushed the cream and pulverized guavas (he used our food processor) through a sieve to get rid of the seeds.

And the plums? They taste sweet and very plum-like but alas, judging from their mushy texture, they were picked too early and allowed to finish ripening off the trees. (Why!!?!!)

However, I think they’re going to be turned into great pie. Oooooh, imagine it: plum pie with guava ice cream. :-D

To continue with our trend of buying non-local fruit, when we were at the supermarket to buy cream for the ice cream, I also got some bananas. I KNOW that a shake made with a banana and guava ice cream is going to be fabulous. (Maybe it will be sort of like the Sudanese guava shake….)

 

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  • CAM

    so “Mississauga” applies only to “packaged” and not to “grown”? I think they made a punctuation error. It would be useful to point out that to be correct, it would say “Grown. And packaged in Mississauga.” Fortunately, we can count on fruit being grown… so far.

    Hmmm, I think they made more than a punctuation error. Unfortunately, it seems that we can now pretty much count on fruit being picked green and ripened off the tree… the wording needs changing: “Ripened and packaged in Mississauga”. There is decidedly something misleading about the missing “grown in Mexico” – I thought that Canadian packaging laws had changed and that the source of the food had to be clearly marked.
     
    However, now that you bring it up, CAM, can we count on fruit being grown?? Now I’m nervous! Maybe they’re doing some sort of bizarre cloning in Mississauga and to cover their tracks are simply writing “grown” rather than cloned. Perhaps THAT’S why the gauvas were so tiny. :lalala:) – ejm

  • I’d like much better to not have to imagine plum pie and guava ice cream … I’m sure it will be fabulous.

    Quite right, Tanna. The plum pie is just about to go in the oven, so you won’t have to imagine it anymore. Does dinner around 8:00 suit you? We’ll be expecting you…. -Elizabeth