Are you looking to add a tropical touch to your meals? Look no further than guava paste. This prized Latin ingredient can be used in sweet and savoury preparations and adds a nice zing to recipes courtesy of the natural acidity in guava fruit.
The guava fruit grows on medium-sized trees, has watermelon-coloured flesh, and is usually slightly larger than a hen egg. Originally native to the Americas, this fruit can now be found throughout tropical and subtropical regions. It is extremely high in vitamin C (higher than oranges) and also has a healthy dose of fibre. The leaves of the plant can also be consumed as a tea or extract for medicinal purposes.
Guava paste, known as pasta de guayaba in Spanish and goiabada in Portuguese, is a very dense puree made of guava and sugar. It is thicker than jam and can be sliced or cut into chunks.
In the Caribbean, guava paste is commonly paired with cheese and served as an appetiser. Not surprisingly, it is a popular ingredient in desserts.
How to Store Guava Paste
Once opened, guava paste can be stored at room temperature. It should be wrapped in plastic or stored in an airtight container.
Where To Find Guava Paste
Look for tins labeled as pasta de guayaba in the Latin aisle at your local supermarket. Guava paste is also sold in logs that are either wrapped in plastic or sold in boxes. It may also be purchased online if you can't find it at the Latin foods market closes to you.
Recipes Using Guava Paste
Guava BBQ sauce
If you’ve never tried guava BBQ sauce then this recipe is a game changer. Stirring a bit of melted guava paste into regular bar sauce makes for irresistible grilled meats. Or you can make it from scratch by following the instructions in the video above.
In Puerto Rico and Cuba, guava paste is combined with puff pastry to make a delectable dessert known as pastelitos. Flaky, sweet and tempting, guava pastelitos are best enjoyed with a cup of coffee. We bet you can't eat just one.
image via Goya
Turn up the volume on any cake by decorating it with guava buttercream. The folks at Goya have a creative recipe for a luscious guava buttercream that's great on everything. Give it a go.
Guava paste makes an excellent filling for cookies. You can basically use them in everything from linzer cookies and thumbprint cookies to shortbread sandwiches. This video shows you how to make a guava-stuffed Brazilian cookie known as beliscão de goiabada.
Baked Brie with guava
image via Kitchen Gidget
Baked brie is a classic appetiser but when guava paste is added to the mix it becomes sublime. Top a wheel of brie with a few slices of guava paste and nuts of your choice. Wrap in puff pastry and bake 30 minutes at 400F. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
Guava: beyond the paste
There’s more to guava than cut and paste. Its pulp can be combined with lemon, water, and sugar for a refreshing beverage, or mashed and fermented in maguey sap for a more titillating brew. Or in the right tropical place and time, you could just pluck one off the tree, and look around you to do as the locals do. In Thailand, this means shaking on salt and pepper, in Pakistan cayenne pepper, or in Taiwan salt, sugar and dried plums. You can also chop up guava and toss it in a salad with rocket leaves, cucumber, apples, and cottage cheese. Get the full scoop on guava in this article.