Red Malaysian Guavas
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Red Malaysia guava trees have a bushy structure and are medium in size, approximately 2-3 meters tall. They develop brilliant pinkish-purple flowers that set them apart from other guava species which generally have creamy white colored blossoms. Their deeply veined ovate leaves are a dusty green shade with a red underside, and turn completely maroon in the winter. Fruits are almost perfectly spherical and approximately 5 ounces with a smooth pinkish-brown skin. The inner magenta flesh is dotted with hard but edible seeds and is a firm crunchy texture. The Red Malaysian guava is slightly softer than most green guava varieties with less tannin. Their floral aroma is also echoed on the palate with a subtle sweetness balanced by moderate acidity.
Red Malaysian guavas are available sporadically throughout the year with a peak season in the spring and fall.
The Red Malaysian guava is botanically known as Psidium guajava, the classification for tropical guava varieties within the Myrtaceae family. The fruits are commonly referred to as Thai Maroon guavas or Purple guavas, specifically in Brazil. The tree is traditionally grown for its fruit but it also offers a stunning display of ornamental foliage ranging all shades of maroon, red and pink. The Red Malaysian guava should not be confused with the pink guava which has the same colored flesh but soft, and is most often found in Thailand where it is called Jambu merah.
Red Malaysian guavas are a good source of vitamin A, C and dietary fiber.
Red Malaysian guavas are generally eaten fresh in raw applications. They may be sliced and added to salads, salsas or paired with cheese plates. Their flesh and juice is high in pectin and a natural choice for making jellies and preserves. Use the red tinged juice in cocktails to add a natural acidity and underlying floral background.
Guava trees are native to Southern Mexico and Central America and have since spread throughout the American tropics, Asia and Africa. Though Malaysian Red guavas are prized for their ornamental value and aromatic fruits, other species of guavas are considered invasive species in places like the Pacific Islands. Guava trees generally thrive in most soil types but do best with plenty of organic fertilizer and do not tolerate soils with high salinity levels. The bright pink flowers of the Red Malaysian guava tree benefit from extra watering in areas where rainfall is minimal, but irrigation is otherwise unnecessary for this drought tolerant species.