A feijoa is a green fruit which ripens in autumn, from March until June. It grows well in the north of New Zealand, in fact it is grown as a hedge in many parts of Auckland and Northland. The fruit falls on the ground when it is ripe. The fruit is egg-shaped or sometimes longer, more like a short, fat sausage. The flesh inside is white and has a strong, sweet perfume. Many people say the taste is like a fruit salad, which probably means it is a mixture of popular fruit flavours like pineapple, guava and strawberry.
It is not a native New Zealand plant. It comes from Brazil and other parts of South America. It likes a warm climate which is why it doesn’t grow well in the South Island of New Zealand.
If you live in the north of the North Island, you may be able to buy feijoas from a road-side stall or local market. They don’t travel well because they bruise and because they go bad after about a week, so they are often expensive in the South Island.
This year, feijoa growers in Northland say that their fruit has a disease. This starts with a brown spot on the fruit but after about 3 days, the whole fruit is brown and tastes bad. This is a worry for growers and bad news for lovers of feijoas.
• road-side stall – growers sell fruit and vegetables outside their property, often with an honesty box where people put their money in a tin or box and take the fruit or vegetables
• bruise (rhymes with ooze) – damaged when it falls or is bumped