Some Californians might be familiar with the little green fruits known as pineapple guavas, which are native to Brazil but thrive here in Northern California. But after fourteen years here I had never seen one before last week, when I spotted baskets of the strange little fruits, which look a bit like elongated tomatillos, in the produce section at Bi-Rite.
You can eat them whole, cutting off just the tops, and when ripe their flavor is brightly acidic, floral, and sweet, somewhere between kiwi and pineapple, but wholly new and strange.
As Bi-Rite rep Jessie Rogers explains, "A lot of our guests tell us they see them growing wild, especially in the East Bay. The ones we're carrying are organic and farm-direct from Live Earth Farm in Watsonville. They're an incredible farm from which we source a lot of our produce. Really wonderful people!"
The Northern California season for this guava varietal only lasts about five weeks, and you'll probably only find them in the store for about another two. They're worth a try (and $5 a pint).