GUAYABANO:  Fearsome But Pleasant-Tasting


What a treat to be vacationing in the Philippines during May!  The markets are teeming with summer fruit, among them a hardy-looking, horned, heavy, green-skinned creation called guayabano.
File created by Ton Rulkens

This fruit is said to be native to Central and South America, as well as the Carribean, but I have yet to find a local name which might help me trace the source of the Spanish guanabana, on which the Philippine name is based.  S
eeds or seedlings most probably crossed the Pacific on the Acapulco-Manila galleon trade.

Indonesians and Malays have two names for it:  Buah sirsak and nangka belanda.  Buah is generic Indo-Malay for fruit; sirsak  is probably from the Dutch zuurzack, which translates into soursop… for, indeed, the white flesh of the guyabano is sour; however, the pineapple and strawberry undertones make it pleasant to eat or drink.

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