I have a passion for passion fruit.
This is the large and shiny Golden Passion Fruit variety of the Americas, Passiflora edulis, almost always available at our Friday market,
not be confused with the smaller, dark purple Passiflora pinnatistipula, which the Ecuadorians call purupuru and the Columbians refer to as gulupa. I just learned that in Perú, or possibly in Chile, where the fruit is called pasionaria, my beloved passion fruit pulp is occasionally added to my equally beloved ceviche for the essential acidic twist. I must try that soon! The people of Perú call passion fruit tintín. Do you think there could be a connection to Tintin & Milou? Maybe Hergé loved tintín as much as I do. Did you know that in several regions, including, but not limited to Brazil and Puerto Rico, where passion fruit are called parcha, by the way, the Passifloras are considered to possess blood pressure lowering properties? And couldn’t you really use that just about now?
Processing passion fruit is extremely easy. Cut fruit in half, scrape juice and the entire multitude of gel embedded seeds into a blender and add honey – a Vietnamese custom, I read in Wiki. Then spin the whole mess for a few seconds, pour and drink. If you don’t like acidic fruits, heat the fruit mush with sugar to sweeten and thicken into a pulp, which you can be used on cheesecakes, puddings or grits. I like to blend the simple fruit & honey mix with yogurt and enjoy it with oat flakes and granola. I also read in Wiki that the Brazilians sometimes substitute passion fruit pulp for crushed lime in their caipirinhas. Another delicious sounding item to be added to my to-try list. After all, our Pilão-Parrot from São Paulo is eager to go to work. I wonder if they sell pinga around here 😉
Recently I’ve changed my maracuyá preparation a little. I close my eyes and pretend to be working at CERN. My blender transforms itself into a silvery hadron collider, pulverizing all those little seeds at the highest speed setting. I haven’t gotten to the collision part yet, because my blender isn’t all that super speedy. But then, those guys in Geneva have only achieved one single 7 TeV event so far, whereas I get about 400 ml of maracuyá juice. Not quite boson particles, but ever so much tastier …
Afterward, I strain the resulting matter through a sieve to remove most of the atomized seeds. You have to mash the mush through the mesh until you have only a compact pomace cake left and all the delicious juices have collected in the bowl beneath. Don’t forget to scrape the underside of your sieve, lot’s of good stuff clinging there.
Never forget the underbelly –
especially with passion fruit involved. Bon appétit!