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Tru Bahamian Must Eat: Guava Jam


Jams and jellies have all the time been staple items within the pantries of Bahamian households, but one jam reigns supreme in our islands, and that’s Guava Jam! Bahamian Guava Jam is a sweet, pink fruit spread made throughout your complete archipelago where guavas grow profusely. Many locals make Guava Jam themselves, but it surely’s so popular that when it does show up in grocery stores, the shelves empty inside minutes. This decadent spread could be very easy yet so versatile that you simply’ll likely run out of jam before you run out of ideas on methods to use it! With so some ways to enjoy Guava Jam, we’ve put together a here’s your how-to guide for making it at home and where to search out it in Downtown Nassau’s boutique stores.


What’s Guava Jam?

a close up of food on a plate
Credit: Tru Bahamian Food Tours

Bahamian Guava Jam is a treat- as lots of our past Bites of Nassau Food Tour guests would agree! While guava Jellies are widely available in grocery stores all over the world, guava jams are quite hard to search out outside countries and islands where guavas grow locally. Considering that jams are much easier to make than jellies because they utilize nearly all of the fruit versus only the juice- this tasty spread is much more of a neighborhood favourite since we love recipes that take little time to arrange!

Our love for jam here in The Bahamas is probably going a predilection passed down from our European ancestors, who developed a taste for jam once sugarcane was introduced to the continent within the sixteenth Century. Since sugarcane grows throughout The Bahamas, we locals have been making quite a lot of jams to appease rumbling tummies for so long as we will remember. Jams were also an important approach to preserve the abundance of native fruits before spoilage and lengthen the shelf-life of a few of our favourite flavours.


What’s In Guava Jam?

a pile of fruit
Credit: Elite Life

Guava Jam is comparatively easy to make, however the ingredients do vary depending in your preference. Commonly, Bahamian Guava Jam is made with sugar, pectin or citric acid, and Apple Guavas. Apple Guavas are probably the most common number of guava and are native to the Caribbean and Central and South America, in order that they’ve been here in The Bahamas before even Christopher Columbus’ arrival in 1492! The fruit grows well in our climate and soil, and is wealthy in vitamin A and C. Though guavas contain a notable variety of seeds, the pink flesh could be very sweet, so we gladly labour through the seeds to gather the fruit for jam. Some people will use canned guava shells to make Guava Jam as well, but for those who can get your hands on a batch of ripe, fresh guavas, the jam might be all the higher!


What We Eat With Guava Jam

a plate of food
Credit: Twisted Lime

You see those delectable chicken wings glazed in that thick, juicy, lip-smacking sauce? Those are Barbecue Guava Chicken Wings- only one example of how we creatively use Guava Jam in The Bahamas! Traditionally, Guava Jam is spread on warm, buttery Island Sweet Bread and Johnny Cake as a satisfying breakfast or to accompany a day tea, but it will probably just as easily be used for other sweet and savory applications.

Listed below are a few of our favourite ways to include Guava Jam into any meal:

  • Spread it on toast with peanut butter or dollop it on top of waffles and pancakes
  • Add Guava Jam to greek yoghurt and granola for a satisfying parfait
  • Drizzle it over desserts for adornment and taste! Or add it to cupcake batter and bake it right in
  • Use Guava Jam as a substitute for guava shells when making Bahamian Guava Duff dessert
  • Make homemade guava ice cream by adding Guava Jam into the creamy mixture because it churns
  • Spread it on a wheel of brie, wrapped in puff pastry, and bake until golden and gooey
  • Glaze ribs and chicken wings with a batch of guava-barbecue sauce like they do at Twisted Lime Restaurant & Bar; it’s amazing!

Where To Find Guava Jam In Downtown Nassau

a hand holding a bottle
Credit: Alexia Tolas

To be honest, there should not a ton of places to search out authentic Bahamian Guava Jam anymore, especially after the closure of Sawyer’s canning factory- formerly certainly one of the biggest operations within the country. Because of this, most locals make the jam themselves but there are a handful of local businesses, equivalent to V&V Condiments that make large enough batches to sell in local stores throughout the island. While they’re few and much between, there are a handful of boutiques that carry Guava Jam in Downtown Nassau, and after inspecting their quality ourselves (repeatedly!), these are the places we recommend grabbing a jar for yourself:

Genuinely Bahamian Boutique
Location: Charlotte and Bay Street
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9:00am-6:00pm
More Info: (242) 356-2242 / Website / Facebook

Pasión Tea & Coffee Company
Location: Festival Place, Prince George Wharf and The Pasión Boutique, Caves Road
Hours: Mon-Sat, 9:00am-9:00pm / Sun, 10:00am-8:00pm
More Info: (242) 327-7011 / Website / Facebook

Graycliff’s Drawbridge Patisserie & Gelateria
Location: West Hill Street, Downtown Nassau
Hours: Mon-Sat, 9:00am-5:00pm
Contact: (242) 302-9190 / Website


How To Make Bahamian Guava Jam

jars of jam
Credit: Tru Bahamian Food Tours

For the hands on DIY chef, Guava Jam is pretty easy to make and requires only a few ingredients. If you might have a hankering to try concocting our famous Bahamian Guava Jam in your personal kitchen, we’ve put together the what and the way for this fruity local fave:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Apple Guavas (use 2 cans guava shells if fresh fruit is unavailable, see alternative preparation below)
  • ⅛ cup Lemon Juice
  • Sugar (will vary depending on amount of pulp, see below)

Directions:

Peel the entire guavas to remove all yellow skin. Place guavas in a big pot. Add barely enough water to cover the guavas. Boil uncovered until guavas are soft and pulpy. Filter pulp through a sieve to remove all seeds. Measure the pulp, and for each cup of pulp, add ¾-1 cup of sugar. Return pulp and sugar mixture to the pot and cook, stirring always. Add lemon juice to thicken the mixture, and proceed to stir. Every two minutes, test jam by ladeling a drop of jam onto a saucer. If the jam thickens and gels on the saucer, it is prepared. Ladel jam into mason jars and permit to get to room temperature.

Alternatives:

  • Use cans of guava shells where fresh fruit is unavailable. Skip the primary few steps of softening the guavas to make pulp and as an alternative pulse the contents of the can in a food processor to make a paste of your personal.
  • If you happen to’re accustomed to using citric acid, replace lemon juice with ½ tsp of powdered citric acid to thicken the jam.
  • Also, try adding a pint of fresh mango to the combination to make Guava-Mango Jam!

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