Thursday, July 15, 2010

How to make Agua de Guayaba

Behold the guayaba. A small, yellow, head-shaped fruit with creamy flesh, filled with hard seeds that get stuck in your teeth. Deliciously sweet, and excellent in an agua fresca.

Aguas frescas are so simple to make that they hardly call for a recipe, but they weren't in my repertoire before living in Mexico. A step by step instructional is listed below. If you're making agua with any seedless fruit you can skip the strainer.

STEP 1. Quarter 4 to 6 guayabas. I had 4, so I used 4. You can cut off the ends if you want. (See optional STEP 7.)

STEP 2. Toss the quartered fruit into a blender along with 6 to 8 tablespoons of sugar. Add 4 to 5 cups of water. (This is no exact science.) Alternatively, you can boil the water with the sugar first to make an easy dissolving syrup.

STEP 3. Blend!

STEP 4. Place a small strainer on top of a pitcher to catch the seeds. (I have a prettier pitcher than this one, but it doesn't fit in the fridge.) Pour blended mixture through it.

STEP 5. Mash the juices down with a spoon until all the good stuff is in the pitcher.

STEP 6. Add water to top off the pitcher, stir a bit, and you're ready to go! Serve immediately with ice, or stick in the fridge for later.

STEP 7. (OPTIONAL) Give extra bits of guayaba to Sabina. What a greedy parrot.

In recent years, aguas frescas have been completely taken over by sugary sodas. The weekly entertainment mag Dia Siete just put out a great article about the history of aguas in Mexico (click here to read), and the fruits and other unusual ingredients that make them. Recipes included. If you read Spanish, I highly recommend it. For those who don't, I'll translate the opener:
15 years ago, squeezed lime, sweet pineapple, juicy melon, refreshing watermelon or any piece of fruit was mixed with natural water to prepare a pitcher of agua fresca that --at the center of the lunchtime table-- not only hydrated the majority of Mexican families, but also provided many natural nutrients. Today, 8 of every 10 Mexicans consume soft drinks with their meals. As one of the regions of the world with the largest diversity of fruits, it might be worth refreshing ourselves with aguas once again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is nearly exactly the same way I make Guayaba water!! I also live in GDL, and I taught myself! Only difference is instead of smashing the guayaba pulp through the strainer, I just tap the side of the strainer with it until all the pulp falls through which is faster and easier.