Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cuba Rescues Guayabita del Pinar Tree

Guayabita Review

Guayabita Website

Adalys Pilar Rodriguez Mireles

Pinar del Rio, Cuba, Mar 25 (Prensa Latina) The Guayabita del Pinar tree, endemic of West Cuba, survives in mountain reserves and plots designed to preserve the raw material for an old, exclusive liquor.

Experts from Hermanos Saiz University developed a project to try and rescue the Psidium Salutare which the locals venerate but its tree population is in progressive decline.

The tree was abundant in grasslands but development of rural areas and intensive forest expansion displaced it to inaccessible areas. Controlled growth helps boost survival and genetically improve the near eight-feet-tall tree. Its fruit is the main component for Guayabita del Pinar, one of the smallest national liquor factories. It was built in the 20th century in Vueltas, Pinar del Rio, whose people discovered its powers.

The spirit, produced by soaking the tiny fruit, favorite of local tobacco growers to mitigate cold and dampness in the plantations, is put to age in old cedar barrels.

In time, it became a tradition to toast at festivities and on special occasions with Guayabita del Pinar, winner of numerous national and international awards and a symbol of Cuba.

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