Passion Fruit

Delicious, not too sweet, and very exotic for Europeans. I never thought that I would grow passion fruit or maracuyá in my own garden.

When I was fighting against the birds that were trying to eat all my grapes, my South African neighbour said that I should grow passion fruit as the birds would leave them alone.
I followed his advice and have now had a reasonably good harvest of passion fruit. Being based in the Southern Hemisphere, it even means that we can harvest passion fruit during Lent. The name of the fruit is supposed to derive from the shape of the beautiful flower rather than the fruit – but never mind.

I find this fruit so fascinating.
First, I thought that I had to harvest it when it was the right size, oval and dark green. However, when I cut open the first fruit, it was hard, and the seeds were obviously not ripe. My neighbour told me to wait until the fruit is dark purple.
So, I waited. He was right. I didn’t even have to pick them from the vine as they just fell on the grass or behind other plants.

The other day I realised that I had overlooked some fruit that must have been on the grass for a while. They looked as if they were of no use anymore. They were wrinkled, brownish and the skin felt more like paper than fruit. I was disappointed that they were past their “prime time” but I thought that it wouldn’t hurt to cut them open.

When I did, I was blown away by what I saw. While cutting through the skin of the fruit it really felt like cutting through cardboard, but the seeds looked wonderful! Not only did they look great, but they were also so easy to scoop out – and they were absolutely delicious.

This made me think of how easily one can get deceived by the exterior, by the appearance. If only judging by appearance, we might miss the greatest gems.