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Mar 18, 2008 06:54 PM

Guanabana / Guayabana

Are these the same fruit with regional difference in spelling and pronunciation? OR are they different fruits?

You're settling a bet hounds, so spell it out for me.



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  1. Guanabana is soursop. Guayabana is guava. GOYA has canned nectar of both. The Gunanabana is gray in color and the guayabana is pink. Different fruits. Also, I just now checked this in the big Harper-Collins Spanish-English dictionary.

    1. Hmm, that's hard to say. It may all be a problem of spelling! The first one is definitely spelled right and is the same as the soursop (in english speaking countries) and graviola (in portugeuse/brazil). It is large, green and soft spiny outside with white melting slightly grainy flesh that surrounds many dark black smooth seeds. And it's delicious! I get a smoothie of it whenever I see it and I had sorbet made from it nearly every day in Brazil.

      The latter is most likely a misspelling for either Guanabana (which seems common on a quick search on the internet) or Guayaba (the spanish for guava). There is one fruit in Peru called Guayabana that is related to Guanabana/Soursop/Graviola, but this is extremely uncommon and not likely to be what you're talking about. See here:
      I'm an ethnobotanist and I've had over 200 species of fruit in my life (yes, I keep a list!) and I've never had that one and I've done research i the Peruvian Amazon where I ate plenty of wild fruit.

      Can you give us some context? Where did you hear these words? Were they attached to particular fruit that you or a friend ate? Any more explanation would help clear it up. But this is the kind of mysteries I love to clear up about fruit!

      3 Replies
      1. re: ephramzz

        I bought a can of the guanabana nectar to use in a cocktail and a friend who is cuban insisted i was mispronouncing it.... he said it's guaYabana, not guaNabana, despite the spelling on the can indicating otherwise. I told him I though he was wrong and well.... now we have a bet.

        I tried googling, but did not find a clear answer.


        1. re: echo eater

          I'm cuban and there's definitely a fruit called a guanĂ¡bana. It's pronounced exactly as it's spelled, with the accent on the NA syllable (gwa-NA-bana). It's green and spiny on the outside with a white creamy inside. Guayaba (gweye-aba) is guava, a totally different fruit. Both grow in Cuba. Your friend is mistaken.

          1. re: oolah

            Guanabana and Guayabana are the exact same fruit. I am from Puerto Rico where the tree grows wild all over. My wife is from Cebu in the Philippines where they call the fruit Guayabana, but where the tree is a specialty fruit tree. I tease her all the time for the "mispronunciation" of the word.