Guava (guayaba) is a tropical fruit mostly found in Central America, northern South America, South East Asia and the Caribbean. It has also been naturalized in Hawaii, India and Tropical Africa. Guava trees give 2 crops a year. One of the reasons I loved going to Mami Chelo and Papi Bartolo’s (my grandparents on my father side) house as a little girl was because they had a guava tree. They lived in a two story house with the living areas in the top floor and a garage and a small apartment in the first floor. After my grandparents became “empty nesters” they decided to rent the apartment and for many years they had a tenant in the first floor. Her name was Doña Estefania, a sweet, old, petitte Spanish lady. At the time, I think she was in her late seventies, a widow and lived by herself. Almost every Sunday, we went to visit my grandparents and the moment Doña Estefanía heard my voice she immediately came out to to say hello and gave me a fruit, most of the time it was a guava fruit from their tree. I loved the smell, the taste and color. The skin was green-yellow, soft when very ripe, a bit bitter at first and the inside dark pink and sweet with hard seeds which I ate too. It is hard to find guavas in the supermarket because they bruise easily and are highly perishable once they reach their ripeness, that’s why not many people have the chance of eating “the real thing”. What most people are used to is guava juice (which I love!) and guava paste which are much sweeter than the actual fruit.
I like to use this sauce as a bbq sauce for baby back ribs, its a nice and sweet contrast as a dipping sauce for the salty gouda cheese balls (see recipe under appetizers) or as a glaze for bbq pork chops. Use your imagination…
Guava and cilantro sauce
10 oz. guava paste (cut into large cubes)
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro (cilantrillo)
1. Put all ingredients together in a sauce pan and stir constantly over medium-hi heat.
2. Stop stirring once guava paste is melted and incorporated with the liquids.