Brian has pined for guavas since we left St. Vincent. The only place we’ve found them in Seattle is Uwajimaya, a fantastic Asian grocery store, but they’re never ripe and they’re always expensive. Once we landed on Kauai, the hunt began.
We had high hopes for the Hanalei farmers market. We saw no guavas, we were told it wasn’t guava season, but Brian wasn’t deterred, he questioned each vendor. One had brought a few, but they had sold already.
We tried the Lihu’e market. We arrived at opening time and Brian rushed through, scanning the tables for guavas, inquiring with each vendor. One vendor told us, “I have guavas, but I didn’t bring any today.”
“Awww,” we said in unison.
She giggled. “Where are you staying?”
“On the north side,” I said.
“I will bring some to Hanalei tomorrow. Come tomorrow to the Hanalei market.”
“Really? Can I pay you today to hold them for me?” Brian asked.
“No, no, I’ll save them for you,” she said.
“Okay! We’ll be there at 9:30!”
We were there, at 9:30. Brian rushed through the already crowded market, searching for the face of the vendor who would have his prized guavas. He found her, busy attending customers. We scanned her table, no guavas, then Brian spotted two small bags of guavas on the tailgate behind her. “There they are,” he whispered.
He paid for the two bags and opened one and inhaled the sweet aroma. I took my turn and was instantly transported to standing under the guava tree at Petit Byahaut. Guavas are filled with seeds and are quite tart so eating them raw isn’t nearly as satisfying as turning them into guava cheese. Later that evening, Brian set to work.
He chopped all eight guavas.
Put them in a pot, added a cup and a half of sugar, and lit the burner.
After the seeds separated and the guavas softened, he put the stew through a sieve to remove the seeds and the puree was returned to the pot.
Stirring constantly, it seemed like forever before the puree thickened into a cheese-like consistency.
Not done yet. More cooking and stirring required.
Finally he turned it into a pan, let it cool and cut the slab into pieces before coating them with sugar.
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