Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fejioa joy - and a recipe alert!

Fejioas. It seems that this fruit has a very low profile amongst Australians in general. Many people have never heard of it and look puzzled when I mention that I've harvested a nice little crop this year from our four backyard trees.

They're much bigger than this now, but it's cold and wet out there so I'm not going out to take photos.

Ask a Kiwi about fejioas though, and they'll get VERY excited. It's a common backyard fruit across the Tasman, and I've lost count of the number of ex-pat New Zealanders who ask me where I got my trees, because they miss fejioas SO MUCH and would love to grow their own.

I occasionally see them in greengrocers, but they're definitely not a popular item here. I don't know why - the flavour is awesome. It's a tangy, tropical kind of taste. A bit banana, a bit kiwifruit, a bit pineapple... hard to describe, really.  I like to cut them in half and just scoop out the soft flesh with a spoon, but I've been keen to try some recipes too.

Half the reason I planted them: gorgeous flowers!

I planted the trees in 2010, and got a couple of fruit the next year. Last year I scored enough to give away a handful to my Mum, who loves them. This year, two of the trees produced nothing at all in spite of a beautiful display of flowers. It was a very dry summer, and I didn't really pay much attention to watering anything, so I guess survival was more of a priority than producing fruit... But the other two gave me a nice little bowl full of funny green fruit - enough to actually make something with; hurrah!

My Kiwi pal Sara tells me fejioa wine is good... perhaps in a few years when the crop increases.

Today I hit fejioa recipe GOLD when I found this site by the New Zealand Fejioa Growers Association. The only problem is, I have maybe enough fruit to make a couple of things, but not all of them. I may have to go hunt down a fruit shop that has some in stock...

I'm actually going to have a go at a flourless cake today - I think I'll use half fejioas and half oranges and see what happens. Kitchen experiments, yay! :)  Edit: Experiment success! My recipe for flourless fejioa and orange cake is up now.

Have you ever tried fejioas? How about cooking with them? If so, I'd love you to share your favourite recipes... the way my crop has been quadrupling each year, by next year I may be looking for ways to use them all up.



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