The Feijoa Tree


Feijoas(Acca sellowiana) are a very common fruit in New Zealand. It is similar in certain ways to a guava and has a distinctive perfumed aroma. In certain parts of the world it is called a pineapple guava or a guavsteen. Although the flavour and aroma are very pleasant, because it is quite overpowering, you either love it or hate it. I happen to be in the group that love it.

This blog came about when I decided to try a new drink that I came across in the supermarket with a friend. When I mentioned that I was always on the look out for new innovations in Food and Drink and how that was an ingrained habit from my days as a student of Food Technology, my friend suggested that I should start a blog about the topic.

I remember the first time I tried a Feijoa. Someone brought a few into work one day and when they heard I had never had one, they suggested I try it. You have to cut it into two as shown in the picture and then scoop out the insides with a spoon. It was love at first taste…..

I had a big Feijoa Tree in the last house I owned. We are just coming to the end of the fruit season now, but at the peak of the season, you would get so much fruit falling under the tree that you give up on collecting them. After all, you have only so many friends that you can give the fruit away to. I have tried making Feijoa Jam, but that didn’t turn out so well. I do however have one more bag of frozen Feijoa flesh in my freezer that I need to use up. Maybe Feijoa Muffins or a Cake…..

When my life circumstances changed and I no longer needed a big house with a big yard filled with fruit trees, the most sensible and stress free solution seemed to be to sell the property and buy something more compact and manageable. But try explaining that logic to my parents. To them selling property, especially large tracts of land is sacrilege. In order to make the sensible solution happen, you have to push through this big solid wall of parental disapproval. As all my Sri Lankan friends will acknowledge, even in our forties, doing something against your parents approval is very isolating. I still have the recrimnations following me almost an year later………

To our parents, we will always be their children and as such, they always know best. Now that I have a child of my own, I can sort of understand where they are coming from, but that doesn’t mean I agree with it. When the path our life takes doesn’t meet with our parents hopes and dreams, conflict arises. For me it began when I decided not to repeat my final exams at school in order to be selected for Medical College. Instead I chose my own path and made a success of it. When I chose not to agree to an arranged marriage and instead found myself a “suddha fellow” (white guy), they chose not to oppose, but you knew they were not happy…..When I chose to take my 10 month old son and move to Singapore on a work transfer, they strongly objected. And when the marriage to the “suddha fellow” ended, you could hear the “I told you so” echoing around you.

Now, approaching my forty second birthday, I have finally realised that no matter what I do, they will never be happy. If they choose not to celebrate the things that I have done right in my life, then that is their problem. I can’t keep trying to please them and failing every time. The stress it has added to my life over the years is not healthy and I just have to let it go. They are good people and I know they love me in their own way. But the truth is that I cannot expect them to suddenly turn around and say “daughter we are very proud of what you have achieved in your life”. I just hope I remember this when my son is all grown up and is expecting this same approval from me……..


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Madhawa says:

    Feijoas – pleasant … over powering …fragrance … love or hate … parents … their approval… did you plan this plot like this or did it just happen?? All I know is your favorite fruit is the sweet-free-will. Either you love it of hate it … You know that’s what defines you … God know how much more of it you have frozen in the fridge!! Make peace with yourself … this fruit is too sweet and filling to allow other fruits like “parental-thumbs-up” .

    1. It is a very interesting perspective on what I have written. No the only preplanning was the link between Feijoa Tree and the house that I sold and how that symbolised their disapproval…The rest just wrote itself.
      The funny thing is I have always done as I please, but that didn’t mean I didn’t want their approval. Being the eldest, the burden of over-achievement comes with the territory. But I have recently come to realise that their unhappiness is nothing to do with what I have or have not done.
      For time being married and having produced the much anticipated male first-born – I did briefly enjoy an elevation of status and any decisions I did make I was able to justify as “joint decisions” or “my husband said”….Now on my own, I am back where i started…….
      I only have that one bag of frozen Feijoas in the freezer I promise, not more excess baggage…..And I have finally seen the light….

      1. Madhawa says:

        Pl do share that light with lesser mortals like us …:)

      2. Madhawa says:

        I do see that light in your pictures and in your writing. Go forth!

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