Exotic and unusual. Like something extraterrestrial, it’s the passiflora or passion fruit and its passion flower – my purple passion.
I almost can’t even breathe. We’re in June of 2016, already. Time is cruelly just whooshing by and I feel like before I know it every week, it’s already friday! The feeling is not just because it was a short week and Memorial Day came and went with a blink of an eye. I also lost several months in the beginning of the year when I had a couple of surgeries that pretty much left me in want of time to pass by quickly so that I could realize some sort of healing or progress in my condition.
What’s really making me feel like there’s not enough time for anything, though, is I’m working on my graduate degree and the amount of reading, assignments, papers and exams has my head spinning. (I’m nodding my head from side-to-side in disapproval…), this is why you’re suppose to finish school when you’re much younger. Although, I have to say that it has never felt more right than now, to have returned. Anyways, I’m into the third course with nine more to master (
no pun intended!)!
I had been trying to get this post out weeks ago. Here we go – we were starting to talk about passion fruit and passion flowers…
My introduction to passion fruit was with my Aunt Virginia. She was out visiting to take me to a baker who she was buying my wedding cake from. You see, my Auntie was an insanely talented and master cake decorator and baker. She designed and created the most beautiful cakes. I speak in the past-tense because it’s not something she does full-time anymore. When I got married, she generously took care of my wedding cake and at the same time learned some trade secrets from a gentleman who lived out in Southern California and happened to also make Hawaiian cakes with the most exquisite tropical flavors. One of those flavors being with passion fruit.
Truth-be-sadly-told, I had a taste of that most delicious cake when we sampled it months before the wedding. One of the layers of the cake was passion fruit…would you believe in all the flurry of the wedding, I never even had the chance to taste my own beautiful wedding confection except for that initial slice and taste bite made just for the photographer!
That’s the last time I ever had passion fruit (uhm…shall we say, that was many, many years ago).
Passion fruits are not as popular here in the U.S., so it seems, when it comes to recipes and use of the fruit. However, I frequent and favor many of the U.K. and New Zealand food publications and it is much more commonly used in the most delectable and creative of desserts and dishes.
I have not been able to easily find passion fruit, fresh or frozen, here in southern California and its purée can be criminally costly. Wanting my own stash to do with what and when its needed (and with such abundance and freshness), I finally adopted my own passion fruit vine and looking forward to experimenting with homegrown harvest soon. Like my guava plant, I tend to add fruits to our garden that I cannot easily find in the stores (like our kumquats, cara cara oranges, kiwi berries, crab apples, Meyer lemons, fig tree varieties, and Babcock white peaches).
The passion fruit has the most unusual flowers, as seen in these images. The plant itself is a vine with pretty shaped, healthy green leaves, and quite a beacon for ants. The fruits are a pepo, a type of berry and is oval being either yellow or dark purple when ripe. The exterior is smooth with a soft-to-firm, juicy interior, riddled with a lot of seeds. It is often used with other juices due to its sweet aroma and flavor.
This vine of tasty fruit is native to Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay (also Paraguay’s national flower), and is commercially cultivated in tropical/subtropical areas for its sweet fruit.
We already have several good-sized fruit, I’m hoping to have some soon to harvest and work with. Now to learn when to harvest the purple jewels and keep the production going!
Like practically overnight, we went from May-gray to temps in the mid-90’s….insane! Have a lovely weekend!!