Psidium guajava L.
“There are sweets with a large number of admirers not only in one region, but in a whole country,” says Brazilian sociologist Gilberto Freyre in
his book Açúcar (Sugar). “One of them, in Brazil, is made with coconut; the other, with guava.” Native to tropical America and spread throughout Brazilian territory, the guava trees bear fruits of intense perfume, rough skin and red or white pulp, which can be used not only to prepare compotes, preserves and pastes – used to fill cookies, jelly rolls and pies – but also in juices, jams and sauces. And finally, the perfect wedding of tastes: guava and cheese, or Romeu e Julieta (“Romeo and Juliet”), a “deliciously Brazilian combination”, according to Freyre. The fruit is harvested year round in irrigated areas of the Northeast; the region of Ribeirao Preto, in São Paulo, is a leading producer in the country.