8 Nov, 2023 @ 12:30
1 min read

How this exotic fruit can help prevent cardiovascular diseases – as it is grown on Spain’s Costa del Sol for the first time

AN exotic fruit that prevents cardiovascular disease has been grown on Spain’s Costa del Sol for the first time. 

Originally from South America, the plant has finally borne fruit six years after it was planted. 

Guaba or pacay is an exotic fruit popular in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. 

Known as ‘ice cream beans’, the fruit contains white beans with a sweet vanilla flavour. 

The fruit is known as ‘vanilla beans’ in Latin America Photo: Loja y sus costumbres Facebook

Fuzzy at first, the beans soon get wet and slippery when eaten and consumers must scrape off the sweet white residue, which some say smells like rhubarb or strawberries. 

Surprisingly, the seeds must not be eaten as they have a very spicy flavour. 

Now, it has been grown on the Costa del Sol by the Institute of Subtropical and Mediterranean Horticulture (La Mayora) in Algarrobo.

The fruit is remarkably difficult to grow in Spain but the health benefits it offers make it all worth it. 

Guaba is rich in antioxidants, which prevent cardiovascular disease, as well as fibre which aids healthy digestion. 

However, don’t expect to see the fruit in your local supermarket anytime soon as La Mayora has only succeeded in growing one guaba. 

Amongst 30 exotic species grown by La Mayora, guaba is part of an experiment to see if non-native fruit can be grown in Spain.

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Yzabelle Bostyn

After spending much of her childhood in Andalucia and adulthood between Barcelona and Latin America, Yzabelle has settled in the Costa del Sol to put her NCTJ & Journalism Masters to good use. She is particularly interested in travel, vegan food and has been leading the Olive Press Nolotil campaign. Have a story? email yzabelle@theolivepress.es

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