Dashe District's Leading Emperor Guava／叫我第一名 大社區帝王芭樂
Dashe District's Leading Emperor Guava
◎English translation: Lin Fu-ju
Delicious guava is sold all over Taiwan and can be found in places such as night markets, roadside fruit stands and high-end restaurants. The popular fruit is one of Kaohsiung's featured agricultural products and the region is one of Taiwan's leading guava producers. Yanchao, Dashe and Alian Districts are famous for the finest quality of guavas.
Guava is originally from Mexico and is full of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. The most nutritious type is known as Emperor Guava, is similar to its cousins, Crystal Guava and soft Pearl Guava, it is seedless and considered to be a super fruit. In 2006, the Emperor Guava was recognized as an official breed by the Council of Agriculture in the Executive Yuan. However since 1998, Dashe District farmers have been harvesting the breed. It is believed Taiwan's first harvest of the breed was in Dashe District. Since then, Emperor Guava production spread to other regions in Taiwan.
Thick and crispy, the Emperor Guava is also sweeter than other breeds. The sweetest can register up to a level 12 on the sweetness scale compared with other guavas that register levels of 8 to 10. It also ripens slower than other breeds and has a more complex growth process. Liu Jian-min was one of the first farmers to grow Emperor Guava in the region. It was his revolutionary methods of cultivation and organic fertilizers that have rendered sweeter guavas.
The Dashe farmers use more natural farming methods and good-quality organic fertilizers such as fermented milk, soy flour, rice bran and brown sugar. They also use all natural pesticides such as castor meal and shell powder. During the harvest, Emperor Guavas are wrapped carefully two layers of individual packaging. The inner layer works as a heat insulator, while the outer layer provides pest and fruit damage control. Liu Jian-min points out that safety is especially important for Emperor Guavas as the skin is also consumed.
Emperor Guava is considered a more high-end fruit due to the amount of care and cost invested in its production. It is priced at NT$70 per kilogram wholesale, three times greater than regular guavas. Therefore, in order to get the best value for money, consumers must select the fruit carefully. Mr. Liu explains the best way to select the sweetest guavas is to find the ones that have shiny yet rough skins. The greener ones have a crispier taste and for a softer textured fruit, opt for a more yellowish skin. Emperor Guava is produced year round. The best and sweetest guavas are harvested in the second half of the year between Mid-Autumn Festival and Chinese New Year.
||Dashe District Farmer's Association