Other names: Farang
General Information: The word "farang" in Thai means foreigner and gives it away that Guava is not a native species. Indigenous to tropical America, it was brought into the kingdom by traders in the 17th century. Guava is grown primarily in the Central Plains and is available all year round.
Crunchy raw Guava is served with a dry salt-and-granulated sugar dip seasoned with crushed chilli called prik kab kleua or a savoury chilli dip prepared by blending palm sugar with fish sauce heated to a caramel-like consistency called nam pla wan. No one seems to know how the Thais came to call the Guava by the same name used for Westerners, but perhaps the fact that the fruit originally came from Spain had something to do with it. In any event, the Guava is one of the most popular fruits for snacks, eaten either ripe or when still green dipped in a bit of salt or sugar. In addition to the usual one with white flesh, another variety is bright red when peeled
The creative use of guava is gaining popularity and is frequently used as an alternative to papaya in Som Tam - the papaya salad and in Thai salads or yam.