Monday, May 19, 2008

Strange Tropical Fruit #3-Jambu Kluthuk

It has been a while since I posted about the cool fruit here. When I did the first post on rambutan I envisioned a series of posts about all the produce available here. There are so many fruits I have never seen before. Many of them I have not had the chance to taste and since we will be moving soon I guess I never will. I will try to do a few more posts, I have promised myself that I will not leave Jakarta with out tasting the dreaded durian! That should be a fun post!  Oh well, onto the jambu kluthuk or as we call it in the west, guava!

I had heard of guava before moving here, and have even had it in fruit drink blends back in the states. While I like the juice fine (in a blend) I find the fruit itself to be a bit overpowering, or rather I find the smell of the fruit to be a bit overpowering. The smell permeates the kitchen when there is one of these in the fruit bowl. For me it is not a pleasant smell, it always reminds me to put on deodorant (yeah, that's my way of saying it smells like stinky pits!).

The flesh is a bit gritty sort of like a pear, actually like pears it doesn't have a very strong flavor, slightly sweet but not very strong. I think it tastes like....hmmm....well... it tastes like GUAVA!  My tropical fruit book describes it as "crisp but not very sweet" I often see guava slices sold with a dipping sauce. I guess the sauce adds some flavor. I have had it with a sweet, hot (very hot) sambal over it and it was yummy, I liked it much better that way. Sort of disguised the smell for me, I was too worried about my taste buds going up in flames to care about the smell.

My boys like the fruit fresh from the tree. I think this is mostly because we have a guava tree right outside our living room window and sometimes I will hear a noise, glance out the window and see legs hanging out of the tree. The guards, pembantus, and gardeners have all climbed that tree at times to grab a quick snack. This is usually a signal for my kids to run outside and beg for a guava. As I am typing this on the compound guards is outside using a long piece of bamboo to knock down a ripe guava from the tree. Grayson is standing on the piano bench yelling through the window and waving his half eaten guava. I think he is telling the guard "Me too, I like guava too!"

Last Saturday I was sitting inside alone, enjoying a moment of calm, when I heard a loud thump from the roof.  This usually means that someone has climbed onto the roof from the tree and is picking fruit.  I glanced out the window and what do I see? Colin in the tree yelling up at someone on the roof. Now Colin was either harassing a gardener in hopes of fruit, in which case I should probably intervene, or my husband was up on the roof. I grabbed the camera and ran outside. This is what I found:

Yep it was my husband on the roof trying to spot the ripe guavas. Usually who ever climbs the tree looking for fruit ends up on the roof because the tree is crawling with ants. Stepping to the roof gives you a moment to spot the fruit before climbing onward. Sitting in the tree while trying to spot the fruit gives the ants a chance to crawl all over you. ICK!
Once Dave spotted the fruit he wanted to pick he climbed back into the tree and climbed even further up. Between this picture and the last Colin jumped out of the tree and did the I-have-ants-in-my-pants boogie. You can see what a great example we set for safe play!

Alonzo is holding a half eaten (dirty) guava. Fruit bats ate this one last night. The bats like the guava too. The fruit bats will grab a fruit and eat a bit then when they are tired they will drop it, it will land on my roof with a thump, and slide to the ground. I love to watch the bats but I can understand why fruit farmers hate them. They never finish the fruit and every morning we find bits of half eaten fruit in the compound.

1 comment:

Terio said...

First, insane! Second, now we know where the boys get it, and thirdly---YUCK! Bats? YUCK!