Living in Central America, we are exposed to many exotic fruits, Cas (pronounce the “a” like the “o” in option) being one of them. Cas is actually a variety of guava and is native to Costa Rica.
We have a cas tree growing right outside our backdoor. A couple of months ago (in September and October), the fruits were falling off daily and we loved to go out (when we remembered to) and search for the fallen fruits.
Guava trees are easily identified by the peeling multi-colored bark. This is a photo of the cas bark.
The flowers are small, white and have five petals.
The fruits start out as tiny green balls and ripen into yellow and green balls with a couple hard bits that resemble a parrot beak. If the fruit is green, hard and has no smell then it is not ripe yet. Ripe cas is quite aromatic with a hint of black pepper and slightly firm to the touch. The fruit ranges in size of 1-3 inches diameter.
Eating these straight takes a brave soul. They are tart, acidic and full of seeds.
A common pest is the guava fruit fly. Finding their larva is not unusual when you cut into one of these.
In a following post I will share how these can be used and the benefits that they possess.