Thursday, March 01, 2007

Guayaba is Taino

Did You Know - Guayaba or Guaiaba is the Taino word for the guava fruit and it is native to the Caribbean, Central and South America. The fruit is edible, having a sweet soft interior with a thin delicate rind. The rind varies in color from green to light green or yellow in its mature or "ready to eat" state. When eating guava fruit two things you will notice is that it has small hard seeds as you bite into it as well as a distinctive aroma. Guava is said to be a good source of Vitamins A, B, and C and is a common flavor of juices and desserts in the Caribbean. Guayaba leaves have been used as remedy for diarrhea and the leaves are considered to have antimicrobial properties. The same anti-diarrheal substances which are useful in "folk medicine" may also cause constipation in the case of consumption of large amounts of guava fruit. In Cuba guava leaves are also used in barbecues providing a smoked flavor and scent to the meat. According to Taino oral tradition, the chief or guardian of Coaibei, the Taino spirit world, is named Maketarie Guayaba. Among the Taino it is also said that ancestral spirits or huipia leave Coaibei in the evening, sometimes taking the form of bats who feed on the Guayaba fruit. - UCTP Taino News (c) 2007