- Guava is a name from Arawak, a language spoken by indigenous people from the zone between the Negro and Orinoco rivers in South America.
- The plant is native to the Caribbean and generally to hot temperate zones of the Americas.
The guava tree can grow up to 5 to 6 meters. Its leaves are elliptical to oval, with white flowers, and round, flat on one end, slightly green fruit that turns yellow when ripe. Its soft, thin skin can be eaten and its pulp is cream or pink in color, depending on the variety. It has a delectable sweet, perfumed flavor.
The Mexicas regarded guavas as one of the most effective remedies to cure diarrhea. Its high vitamin C content helps to prevent respiratory ailments, it is an astringent for swollen gums, and it relieves stomach pain.
Guavas are placed as an offering on Day of the Dead altars. Boiled in water with other fruit and spices, it is a key ingredient in hot punch served in December. Although it can be eaten fresh, it is often the main ingredient in sherbets, popsicles, aguas frescas (fruit-flavored beverages), milk shakes, atoles (hot corn-based drinks), and as filling for tamales and sweetened bread. It is also prepared in syrup as a compote, a jelly, ate (fruit paste), or jam. Guavas are important in the juice, nectar, and soft drink industry.
- Annual guava consumption per capita is 2.5 kg
- India is the world’s leading guava producer
- Mexico ranks seventh in guava production worldwide
- The foremost buyers of Mexican guavas are the United States and Canada
- Michoacán and Aguascalientes produce more than three quarters of Mexico’s guava harvest