Receiving Information: Good quality guavas should be firm and free of bruises or decay. Ripe guavas should exhibit a fragrant aroma. Storage/Handling: Temperature/humidity recommendation for short-term storage of 7 days or less: 45-50 degrees F / 7-10 degrees C. 85-95% relative humidity. Retail display tips: Water sprinkle: No. Top ice: No. Ethylene production/sensitivities: Produces ethylene: Yes. Sensitive to ethylene exposure: Yes. Troubleshooting: Increased decay: This is an indication of chill injury. To prevent chill injury, do not store guavas below 45 degrees F / 7 degrees C. Accelerated ripening: Guavas are sensitive to ethylene; exposure to the gas may cause accelerated ripening which is indicated by flesh softening and skin color changes from green to yellow. To prevent accelerated ripening, keep guavas away from ethylene-producing fruits and ripening rooms.
Similar in shape to pears or plums, guavas can be as small as 1 inch or as large as 4 inches in diameter. They have thin, pale green skins, which turn light yellow as they ripen; the flesh varies from white to deep pink or salmon red. They contain a number of flattish, hard but edible seeds. Guavas are highly scented with an aromatic sweet-acid flavor, not unlike that of quinces. There are several varieties of guava, the most common being the familiar yellow fruit. Strawberry or cherry guavas are smaller, with reddish purple skins. Ripe guavas are delicious eaten raw. They can be poached in syrup, but must be simmered gently, as the flesh easily disintegrates. The flesh can be pureed to use in ice creams and sorbets, or made into jams and jellies (alone, or with other fruits) or sweet drinks. Like quinces, they have an affinity for apples; a few slices of peeled guava added to an apple pie or applesauce impart a special fragrance. Guavas can also be used in savory dishes and are particularly good in a sauce for duck or game birds. They make an interesting addition to salads, and can be stuffed with cream cheese and served as an appetizer.