For centuries, central and south Americans have loved guavas. In Europe, this fruit was discovered in the Caribbean and soon the Portuguese travelers brought it to Goa in India. With this fascinating history, guava is currently exported to over 30 countries all over the world. Major guava-producing countries include India, Brazil, South Africa, Jamaica, Egypt, and Thailand among many others. Owing to their distinct flavor and rich nutritional qualities, guavas enjoy a special presence across the globe today.
According to a 2011 report published by the UN’s Food and Drug Administration, the largest guava producers are India, Pakistan, and Mexico. With more than 0.15 million hectares of land dedicated to guava production in India, the annual harvest peaks at approximately 1.80 million tonnes, thereby making it the fourth most widely grown fruit crop in the subcontinent. Guavas grow all year round in India. However, the peak seasons are August to November. Maharashtra is the leading state in guava production followed by Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. Out of all the states, Maharashtra is the leading producer of the fruit both in terms of quantity as well as area.
Guava has been acclaimed for ages for its highly nutritious properties. It is the source of several vital vitamins and minerals such as Thiamine, Niacin, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, etc. It is also one of the ancient medicines used by several tribes of this world because of its healing properties. Egyptians used guava and its leaves for curing cough and cold. And certain tribes from Amazon used Guava leaves and its stem for curing irritation of the throat and inflamed lungs.
A large berry that comes in a variety of colors and flavors, guava is also an aromatic delight. The fruit can be enjoyed raw, but can also be juiced or made into jams and jellies.
In this blog, we will share with you the top five varieties of guava in India.
Allahabad Safeda: This variety of guava is immensely popular and always remains high in demand for its unique quality and taste. It is used for both table and processing purposes. It bears attractive bright pink flowers, comes with mottled greenish bark and long 3-to-7-inch serrated leaves. Allahabad Safeda is one of the largest guavas in the country. This variety of fruit is large in size, roundish in shape, and becomes more tempting with a white and sweet pulp.
Sardar: This variety is mostly spherical and meaty with soft seeds and white pulp. Rich in nutrients, an average fruit contains 130mg Vitamin C/100g pulp. Not only consumers, but even farmers love this variety because 1 acre of land can accommodate approximately 112 plants, thereby promising a rich harvest. Fruits come in a shade of saffron and yellow with an occasional red tinge and weigh between 175 to 210g.
Allahabad Surkha: This is another renowned variety of fruit that is round and strongly flavored. The most attractive feature of these guavas is their uniform pink skin with a deep pink pulp that carries a pleasant sweet taste. The plants produce up to 120kg of organic products in the sixth year of fruiting. This variety is also known for its lively, dome-shaped trees that are often compact and easy to recognize.
Hisar Safeda: These guavas are a unique cross between Allahabad Safeda and the seedless variety. Plants bear an upright growth habit with a compact crown. The fruit is round with a smooth surface and is best known for its creamy white pulp with a few soft seeds.
Banarasi Surkha: The fruit of this variety has a smooth surface and is often recommended as the best choice for summers because of its pink pulp and high seed content. The trees are often medium-sized and can be recognized by the shape of the leaf base that ranges from rounded to cordate.