17 Sep2005

Bayabas / Guava

by Marketman

There are bayabas or guavas in abundance at the local markets right now. guava1Guavas (Psidium guajava L.) are part of the huge Myrtaceae family that includes eucalyptus and even makopa. Though no one is certain, guavas are believed to have originated in Mexico or slightly further South in Central America according to Alan Davidson in the Oxford Companion to Food. Another expert source, Elizabeth Schneider, writes that they are native to Brazil… at any rate, they now flourish throughout the tropical world and are an extremely common backyard fruit in the Philippines. Until just two decades or so ago, the smaller more “native” guavas predominated. Today, millions of those backyard trees still exist but the more commercially oriented large shiny skinned hybrids are what we see in the markets at relatively steep prices. There is a tremendous variety of guavas from those the size of small grapefruit to those the size of a small apricot. They can be green, yellow or even orange in color and can be extremely pungent and flavorful when ripe.

I have always enjoyed this fruit fresh before it ripens completely and gets really pungent and somewhat mushy. guava2As a kid, I used to pick them from backyard or neighborhood trees and eat them with lots of rock salt. Eat too many and you could get a stomach ache, I was told. In the last twenty years, the larger varieties have really become dominant and while I like them a lot, they seem a bit artificial, more like the guavas of old on steroids! Nevertheless, I always buy a few guavas when they are in season as they have a unique taste, a nice astringent bite and a crisp texture that I like, not to mention serious doses of Vitamin C. Besides eating them fresh, I used to consume a huge amount of guava jelly which was paired in our household with bananas and cheap cheese – why, I wouldn’t know. Peanut Butter and Guava Jelly was also a thing I recall from the wee young years. Lately, I have taken to Guava Jam which is different from the jelly in that it is opaque, more substantial and more buttery. In fact, it must be the tropical equivalent of apple butter…yum!

Isn’t it funny how certain characteristics of food stick in your guava3memory banks…for me and the guava it is the strange texture of the seeds and their seeming indestructibility. I am almost certain that the seeds course through my digestive system intact since they appear to be so strong. That theory would apply to all the birds that eat wild guava and poop the seeds across the archipelago hence the abundance of guava trees… Finally, one last guava tip… buy some canned guava juice (don’t know how they get that from such a dry fruit!) and add it to commercial ice tea. Whip this up in a blender and serve with lots of ice. The mixture of tea and guava is really good and those who taste this are surprised by the twist you have given the iced tea. Enjoy! Oh, help!!! Do any of you have a good recipe for sinigang using guavas??? Please share.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Ann says:

    sinigang na guava, my mama’s fave and mine, too…her version is the same with the regular sinigang with tamarind, the only difference is, the seeds of ripe guavas (small one & sour) are removed & only the flesh (with skin) are then cut into pieces and boiled with onions for about 15 to 30 minutes, then add the fish (milk fish or king fish is better) & vegetables & ‘siling haba’ (kangkong and string beans)…best paired with sauted ‘bagoong’…and also best during rainy season!

    Sep 17, 2005 | 1:45 pm

     
  2. Vicky says:

    Sinigang sa bayabas is a local delicacy in our town and a family favorite since I was a child. I take advantage of the abundance of ripe, soft guavas in our local market to cook this delicious dish. For a kilo of bangus or kanduli (cleaned and cut into several pieces), use a kilo of peeled, seeded guavas. Puree the guava meat with a little water in a blender. Proceed to cook the sinigang with onion, tomatoes, tagalog gabe, sili, the pureed guavas, water. When the mixture boils, drop the bangus and native vegetables like sitao and kangkong. Season with salt and 2 tsp. of sugar.

    Sep 17, 2005 | 5:29 pm

     
  3. Marketman says:

    I am excited at the thought of trying this guava sinigang. Can you use the large steroid grown guavas or will native have more flavor? Should I use ripe ones or hard unripe ones?

    Sep 17, 2005 | 5:37 pm

     
  4. Ann says:

    the ripe & small/native one has the best flavor, sometimes pink color with thicker flesh or the yellow one with pale color flesh (not too soft but not hard). my version is just the way i like it—a clear broth (not mushy) so for me, just boiling the cut pieces gives a lot of flavor, but pureeing might be a good idea, too.

    Sep 17, 2005 | 8:47 pm

     
  5. gsl says:

    We just cooked and ate sinagang na bangus sa bayabas with kamote tops. We love it. I also remember my mom used to cook ginataang over-ripe bayanas. This is one of our comfort food especially during rainy season. Ulam na dessert pa.

    Sep 19, 2005 | 7:46 am

     
  6. lee says:

    i love guava jelly… i have not tasted guava jam yet and i would really love to have some.
    We have a local bakery somewhere north of the city and they bake guapple pies made from the huge guava variety. tart and nice.
    We used to have a guava tree back home, the pungent one with pink flesh. Smells like unwashed armpits.

    Sep 19, 2005 | 9:43 am

     
  7. Bubut says:

    the ginataang bayabas (dessert) is what my Mom called “Postre”.

    Sep 23, 2005 | 6:34 pm

     
  8. Marketman says:

    Lee, I am amused by your most accurate of descriptions…I just bought a whole bunch of guava the other day for a recipe coming tomorrow and the smell does indeed approximate a rexona or oldspice free armpit. Heehee.

    Sep 29, 2005 | 5:40 am

     
  9. Tropics says:

    Guava is also abundant in Mexico, and here in Southern California, grocery stores that specialize in Mexican goods sell a guava confection in a roll shape. When unrolled it measures about 8 inches by 6 inches square. It is not a guave jelly or guava jam. It is pliable and soft but can maintain its shape. It has the consistency and elasticity like those of a bread dough, but more dense. The guava taste is very strong and the sweetness is just right, but I would not recommend it to a diabetic.

    Nov 15, 2005 | 12:24 am

     
  10. malou says:

    Hi, I once got a divine bottle of guava preserves where the guavas were so preserved the shells were whole and intact in the jar, a bit of jam-like syrup surrounding. The problem is, I don’t remember where I got it and I haven’t found it since. Do you have a recipe so perhaps I could try it using organic muscavado sugar? Or, do you know who sells it?

    Nov 21, 2006 | 3:10 pm

     
  11. Marketman says:

    malou, I have never seen the preserves with the whole guava…hmmm… an idea for next guava season I see…

    Nov 21, 2006 | 4:17 pm

     
  12. teodoro bautista says:

    hey bubut what do you mean guinataang bayabas its look like new to me that you cook like this can you share me how to make so i have another recipe in guava too. does this taste goog

    Jul 12, 2009 | 5:03 pm

     
  13. kristine says:

    i was browsing the web for ginataang bayabas, naalala ko lang kasi this is my fave guava dish ( aside from guava jelly and and jam). it always reminfds me of my childhood, eating this dish during the guava season, while it is raining outside and we have to stay at home, i think i can still remeber how it is being cooked, there are 2 version for this, and they are good,may seems wierd but it is really good

    Sep 9, 2009 | 9:36 pm

     
  14. kristine says:

    in the visayas region, this how they cooked it.

    2 cups mashed or cut it into chunks if you want some texture to sink you teeth (use over ripe ot at least yung medyo malambot na)
    1 cup coconut milk
    1/2 coco cream
    sugar ( it really depend on how sweet you want it to be
    a little oil ( you can use butter, di uso sa probisya ng olive oil, but you can use whatever oil you prefer)
    1 clove of minced garlic or more if you want it to be a bit garlicky( i know it may seems wierd but its actually good)
    a pinch of salt

    peel and removed the seed of the guava ( mabusisi talaga noh?) or you can cut it into chunks if you want

    set it aside

    then sautee the garlic

    add the guava

    add the coco milk

    let it boil until the guava are tender

    add the sugar

    add the salt

    stir and let it simmer for a minute or two

    add the coco cream and let it simmer for at least 3 minutes ( para naman di lasang hilaw ang gata

    serve it with a dot of butter or dollop of cream ( if you want, but i like it without butter or cream)
    it is yummy as hot or cold

    Sep 9, 2009 | 9:48 pm

     
 

Market Manila Home · Topics · Archives · About · Contact · Links · RSS Feed

site design by pixelpush

Market Manila © 2004 - 2014