fruits38_-_credit_irt_-_evelyne_coustillat.jpgFruits et légumesFruits et légumes© Evelyne Coustillat
© Evelyne Coustillat

Guava

An acidic red fruit

The guava, a small shiny red tropical fruit, deliciously sweet but with a tangy taste, makes its appearance during the southern winter in the island’s orchards and forests. The fruits are harvested from around late April until August.

The secrest of

the guava tree

The very prolific guava tree (native to Brazil) is an invasive plant, but highly valued as an agricultural resource for its fruit and wood. This fruit tree can reach up to 12m in height, while the largest fruits can be about 2.5 cm in diameter.

To the delight of fruit-lovers, the picking season begins in April and ends in August, during which time there’s a rush of cars to the Plaines on Sundays.

Very rich in vitamin C, guavas are used in a variety of recipes and can be enjoyed in jams, creams, clafoutis, juices, sorbets and cakes. It also serves as a sauce in creative Creole dishes.

Like Reunion’s other exotic fruits, the guava has its own festival, which in 2019, took place from 7–9 June at La Plaine-des-Palmistes. The event includes fruit picking, sales of local produce, competitions, exhibitions, crafts, tastings and other activities.

Did you know ?

The leaves of the guava tree are said to have anti-inflammatory properties and healing powers. Dior uses them in the creation of its beauty products.

Where can you find them ?

You can pick your own guavas on farms in carefully cordoned-off fields, with the owners’ permission. The price is per bucket of guavas picked.

At La Plaine-des-Palmistes. A 20-minute drive from Saint-Benoît in the east of Reunion, this region is a haven of tranquillity, characterised by its nature, traditions and relaxed way of life. With an average altitude of 1000m, this well-watered plateau is incomparably rich in botanical resources, including tree ferns, tamarinds, barbel palms and guava trees.

On the Petite-Plaine, near the Bébour-Bélouve forest road, guava trees spread like all invasive plants, and some farmers decided to cultivate them for commercial use.

You will also find them along the roadsides of the island’s ‘Hauts’.