What Is Goiabada And What Does It Taste Like?

A widely cherished ingredient in Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America, goiabada, or guava paste, is tart, sweet, and unique when eaten straight out of the tin. Also, goiabada and cheese happen to make a beautiful couple.

The Kitchn describes goiabada as a thick purée consisting of guava, sugar, and sometimes pectin. (Since guava is naturally high in pectin, per Epicurious, goiabada doesn't always need the extra natural thickening agent.) Cook's Info states that goiabada is dense but soft, and sold in blocks. The thickness can vary, from fruit leather on the drier end to more jam-like, per Baking Bites. It's never so thin as to be spreadable, like jam, though. Rather, it is sliced thin for serving. The sweet treat has a deep, dark red-magenta color, and the flavor is intensely fruity, sweet, and slightly floral. Since goiabada is basically just guava and sugar, it's fair to say that it tastes like a guava. If you've never tried one, Epicurious describes the flavor as strawberry and pear combined.

Guava is a tropical fruit from Latin America and is chock-full of healthy antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, according to Healthline. Sure, goiabada also has lots of sugar, but the health benefits of guava are in there.

Goiabada has a starring role in Romeu e Julieta

Goiabada's most famous role is in a pairing with certain smooth cheeses, in a dish called Romeu e Julieta. The cheese used is typically the mild, dense queijo minas or the creamier requeijão, according to 196 Flavors. Mozzarella is okay, too. The dish is named for a Shakespearean play to highlight the harmonic partnership between the sweet goiabada and savory cheese. The love affair between these two ingredients isn't limited to just Romeu e Julieta, either. You'll find goiabada and cheese in empanadas, cheesecake, pizza, and on top of toast, per 196 Flavors. 

Next time you have friends or family over, impress them by serving up some Romeu e Julieta. As they exclaim about how sweet and delicious it is, you can clue them in to guava's health benefits, too. Goiabada is sold in Latin specialty markets and sometimes in the Hispanic sections of larger grocery stores, according to The Kitchn.