Thursday, 1 September 2016

ALL ABOUT PASSIONFRUIT

“True love is not a strong, fiery, impetuous passion. It is, on the contrary, an element calm and deep. It looks beyond mere externals, and is attracted by qualities alone. It is wise and discriminating, and its devotion is real and abiding.” - Ellen G. White

Passiflora, known also as the passionflowers or passion vines, is a genus of about 500 species of flowering plants, the type genus of the family Passifloraceae. They are mostly vines, with some being shrubs, and a few species being herbaceous. The monotypic genus Hollrungia seems to be inseparable from Passiflora, but further study is needed.

Passiflora edulis is a vine species of passionflower that is native to Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina. Its common names include passion fruit or passionfruit (English), granadilla (Spanish), granadille (French), maracujá (Portuguese) and lilikoʻi (Hawaiian). It is cultivated commercially in tropical and subtropical areas for its sweet, seedy fruit. The passionfruit is a pepo, a type of berry, round to oval, either yellow or dark purple at maturity, with a soft to firm, juicy interior filled with numerous seeds. The fruit is both eaten and juiced; passionfruit juice is often added to other fruit juices to enhance aroma.

Passionfruit is widely grown in several countries of South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, Southern Asia, Vietnam, Israel, Australia, South Korea, Hawaii and mainland United States in Florida and California. Certain cultivars are resilient against light frosts, and thus can survive perennially, even in more temperate climates such as that of Great Britain.

Several distinct varieties of passionfruit with clearly differing exterior appearances exist. The bright yellow flavicarpa variety, also known as the Golden Passionfruit, can grow up to the size of a grapefruit, has a smooth, glossy, light and airy rind, and has been used as a rootstock for the Purple Passionfruit in Australia. The dark purple edulis variety is smaller than a lemon, though it is less acidic than the yellow passionfruit, and has a richer aroma and flavour. Several varieties of passionfruit are rich in polyphenol content, and yellow varieties of the fruit were found to contain prunasin and other cyanogenic glycosides in the peel and juice.

In Australia and New Zealand, passionfruit is available commercially both fresh and tinned. It is added to fruit salads, and fresh fruit pulp or passionfruit sauce is commonly used in desserts, including as a topping for pavlova and ice cream, a flavouring for cheesecake, and in the icing of vanilla slices. A passionfruit-flavoured soft drink called ‘Passiona’ has also been manufactured in Australia since the 1920s. The juice of the passionfruit is also used in some alcoholic cocktails.

The flower of the passionfruit is the national flower of Paraguay. The flower symbolises faith and religious fervour and was in the past used by missionaries in South America to teach the natives the gospel. If a purple passionflower is included in a bouquet, it signifies “I am still faithful to the lover I have lost and I am mourning”. A pink passionflower means “my ardour is tempered by my faith”. A white passionflower indicates: “I am chaste and celibate.”

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme,
and also part of the Food Friday meme.

4 comments:

  1. Every facet of this fruit from taste, smell to appearance, even its name, is wonderful.

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  2. Most impassioned plea for a great fruit. Taken raw is somewhat sourish but the converted choices as narrated above are varied and many. One can enjoy it just as much. Wonderful take Nicholas!

    Hank

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  3. When I am asked what proof do I have that god exists, I whip out a passionfruit! No need to say any more. It is indeed added to fruit salads, pavlova, ice cream, cheesecake and alcoholic cocktails. But never tinned. Tinned passionfruit should be against the law.

    I lived in the UK for a few years and had to travel to a special greengrocer once a month or so, just to get my australian fruits.

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    1. I agree, Hels. Fresh fruit is wonderful. We have a vine in the backyard and it is very prolific. We freeze the fruit we cannot eat straight away (whole, peel and all) and some weeks/months later defrost as many as we need and it tastes just as good as the fresh.

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