Guavira

Ark of taste
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Guabiroba, Gabiroba

Guavira is the name given to this bush from the Campomanesia genus of the Myrtaceae family. There are various species of Campomanesia, like the C. adamantium, which is more commonly found in Mato Grosso do Sul, or C. pubescens and C. Aromatica. The plant can vary in height from 50 centimeters to more than 1,5 meters. All of the species have abundant flowers between September and October, while the fruits grow between November and January. These are globular and juicy, with a green peel even when the fruits are ripe. Only in a few cases can they become yellow when ripe. The pulp is juicy, sweet and slightly sour, while the seeds are white. The guavira fruits have a diameter between 5 and 7 centimeters, and are rich in vitamin C, copper and zinc. When they are dried, the product tastes similar to nutmeg and they are used in popular medicine.
The fruit can also be used as a fermentation base for the production of wines, beers and even hard alcohol, like a kind of Cachaca, for example. They can also be consumed as juices, candy, ice creams or gelatins.
The extraction of the pulp must also be done manually, since when it comes in contact with metal the fruit oxidizes easily.

Eating guavira comes from the Indios Terena, a rather populous ethnicity in Mato Grosso do Sul State. The fruit is harvested by women and are sold in Campo Grande and in Bonito, a nearby city.

But the tradition of going to collect the fruit in November is also widespread among farmers and there are a series of associations of harvesters.

Each year in Bonito there is also a festival for Guavira.
Unfortunately the cultivation of guavira is in net reduction due to deforestation in the areas around the forests, which is the ideal place for this bush to grow. The spread of land cultivated with soy and areas for cattle grazing are also taking away space from the areas dedicated to guavira, which remain solely in rocky areas with agricultural equipment can’t pass.

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Other info

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Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

Indigenous community:Terena
Nominated by:Leticia Sguissardi Krause, Geraldo Alves Damasceno Junior