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Yanchao guavas are a large variety that has bright, lime green skin, with a glossy sheen and a rough, bumpy surface. The moderately sized Yanchao guavas have a shape like a bulging claw and are larger than fist-size. Yanchao guavas have a thick, off-white flesh that is crisp with a fine texture. The flavor is very sweet, with a Brix rating of between ten and 18. Small edible seeds are centralized in a ring at the center of the flesh. Yanchao guavas are said to have a “special” aftertaste, that is described as sweet and tropical.
Yanchao guava is available year-round with a peak season in the fall and through the late winter months.
Yanchao guavas are a variety of Psidium guajava known as “pearl” that are native to the southern part of Taiwan. The tropical fruit is known as ‘Kaohsiung Yan Chao guava’, for the city where they are grown, and is locally called Ba-la. Yanchao guavas are a unique cultivar of the pearl variety due to the rich, volcanic soil. In Taiwan, Yanchao guavas are known as “green diamonds” and are considered a ‘treasure’ of Yanchao Township.
Yanchao guavas are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as minerals like iron, calcium and phosphorus. Yanchao guavas are also high in protein and antioxidants.
Yanchao guavas are most often eaten raw, on its own or mixed with other tropical fruits like kiwi or mango. Cut a Yanchao guava in half after peeling the skin. The flesh can be shredded or grated, sliced or diced. Yanchao guavas are paired with lemon to make jams and jellies. Slices of Yanchao guava can be dried at a low oven temperature, or candied and preserved. Add Yanchao guava to smoothies or juice and add to cocktails or use for ice cream. Yanchao guavas can replace any other guava variety in recipes. The tropical fruit will store for up to a week at room temperature, and should be refrigerated and eaten within a few days when fully ripe.
Yanchao guavas are referred to as Thai guavas or Thai peyara in Bengali. In the fall of 2016, the Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture in Bangladesh said that Yanchao guavas will be the main cash crop in the near future for the region, due in part to the demand and high price for the tropical fruit, but also for the topography and ideal climate conditions for growing guavas. The primary growing regions in Bangladesh are located in the fertile delta region just north of the Bay of Bengal. In late 2016, there were over 1500 orchards of “Thai guava” in Bangladesh.
Yanchao guavas are grown in the Yanchao and Dashe townships of Kaohsiung City in Taiwan, which is at the southern end of the small island nation. Growers believe the region is ideal for the guava variety because of the soil which is rich in sodium and magnesium. The variety was first bred in 1990 and has since become popular not only on the island of Taiwan, but also in Thailand, Myanmar, and India. Guavas were originally planted in Taiwan over 300 years ago, and were originally native to Central America and the northwestern area of South America.