So the other day I’m at the San Diego Public Market and I see a few fruits I’ve never even heard of before with clearly marked signs: “Jelly Date” and “Rose Apple”. Cool! So the farmer offers me a taste of a jelly date and it has a faintly tropical flavor. “Ohh – is this a type of guava?” I ask. He politely replies with a chuckle, “Um. NO. It’s a date. A jelly date.” Right. So I buy a basket full. Then he asks if I’d like to try a rose apple. Not having learned from the experience oh…10 seconds earlier I blurt out, “Is THIS a guava???” No chuckle this time but still very polite, “No miss. It is a rose apple.” (He points to the sign.)

So apparently I had a hankering for guavas or I was confused by the look or smell or something (they smell nothing like guava for the record). So the first thing you should know is that these are not guavas. Not at all. They are super fun though! They taste like roses!!!! For realzzzz. I’ve only had one other fruit that was floral like this, the Xinjiang Fragrant Pear and it just smelled like roses periodically. Nothing even close to this level of spectacular floral representation.

Rose Apple

APPEARANCE Rating: ★★★☆☆

Yellow oblong fruit with a pronounced stem and a single brown seed.

AROMA Rating: ★★★★★

Extremely floral and strong.

TEXTURE Rating: ★★★★☆

Delightfully firm and crunchy! Moist but not juicy. The seed rattles around inside like a baby toy. This indicates it is ripe.

TASTE Rating: ★★★★☆

Mellow sweetness with a spicy floral bite and a hint of mint.

OVERALL Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

I adore this fruit and yet I can’t imagine eating one as a snack. I suppose I would grab one pretty regularly if I had a tree in my yard though as the crunch is super satisfying. I also just saw a neat cooking idea on the California Rare Fruit Growers site to cut them in half, fill with a meat/rice mixture, cover with tomato sauce and bake. YUM. Or you can distill them down a few times to get a rose water. I feel a funky cocktail coming on…


There appear to be a number of different fruit that can be called a rose apple. One also goes by the name love apple. That might be my new favorite fruit name of all time. “Can you hand me another love apple please?” (None of them are actual apples.)

Rose Apple
Farmer’s Market