Feijoas. Love em or hate em?
Feijoas. Love em or hate em? We found a mature tree out back of the office this week which was dropping ripe fruit and Elspeth Mark B and I got busy harvesting them like a threshing machine and shoving them in our heads as fast as we could chew. One of us may have spent sometime afterwards with our head literally jammed into a box filled with Feijoas. While the ‘harvesters’ love em, the office score line is about 50 50 – 50 in the love column, 50 in the – ‘urgh, that tastes like medicine or deep heat’ column. Either way, there’s a ‘kinda’ wine connection in as much as feijoa flavours can be found in some white wines, especially Riesling. Flavour wise Feijoa’s are a study in unusual contrasts, from both a flavour and textural perspective – tropical aromas with guava and maybe a hint of pineapple, then with strawberry and something decidedly green … the atavistic brain senses delight mixed with caution – ‘this might be the best thing to eat on earth – but it might poison me too.’ The texture is a similar study in contrast – the centre of the fruit, sweet, gelatinous, custardy and soothing, the outer layers of the fruit fleshy, green and grainy and increasingly sour. I reckon they are best eaten fresh, but they can also be used in a number of different deserts. Here’s one I had a crack at which pairs Feijoa fruit and Riesling Take 15 to 20 feijoas, peel and and put in a saucepan with the half a cup of sugar, a cup of good young Riesling, half a cup of water and the juice of half a lemon. Add one split vanilla bean or a smidge of quality vanilla essence into the saucepan along with a bay leaf or 2. Simmer gently for 10 minutes then remove the feijoas from the liquid to cool. Take the poached fruit out of the syrup and continue to simmer the liquid gently until is has reduced by half. Pour the liquid over the poached fruit, add a few toasted pistachios and a dollop of 2 of clotted cream or ice cream. Ingredients .5 cup Sugar 15 or so Feijoas - peeled 1 cup Riesling – a really good young Clare Riesling – like the Vickery Watervale is perfect .5 cup Water Juice of half a lemon 1 Vanilla bean or a bit of real vanilla essence 1 or 2 Bay leaves Some Pistachio nuts, toasted Clotted cream or ice cream