This post is from Honolulu where I am enjoying family, warm temperatures and fresh fruit!
Yesterday, for breakfast my Dad cut me a ripe papaya and after dinner my sister and I halved a fresh yellow passion fruit from our neighbor’s yard. What a treat to be able to enjoy the fruit of the land without having to head to the supermarket!
I thought that I would just introduce passion fruit because in many parts of the world, you don’t get the opportunity to actually see or taste the fresh version. There are two varieties of passion fruit, one is yellow and the other is purple.
In Hawaiian, passion fruit is called Lilikoi’i and it’s commonly used in jams, jellies, cookies and juice. I always thought passion fruit was native to the islands, but my mother told me that wasn’t true. It’s infact native to South America!
The name “Passion” is not from the passion you feel from the wonderful taste of the fruit, as I assumed, but was given by Catholic missionaries in South America because of the shape of the passion flower: the threads were seen as the crown of thorns, the five stamens were the wounds, and the three stigmas for the nails on the cross. The missionaries used the flower to symbolize the teachings of Christ.
My mother said the University of Hawaii is known for their school of agriculture and has improved the flavor of many fruit that grow in the islands, such as the papaya, pineapple and passion fruit. If you see the pineapple with the label “Maui Gold”, buy it! It’ almost guaranteed to be sweet and juicy. Although it may be hard to find fresh passion fruit in many areas, if you do have the chance please try it fresh. It’s full of vitamin C and research has found that it even has anti cancer qualities. But most of all, the clean and refreshing flavor is something to experience. Just cut the fruit in half and spoon the flesh to enjoy all the sweet juices and seed or you can add it to a smoothie or simply pour over vanilla ice cream!