Passion Fruit ~ Maracujá

Photos by Priscillakittycat

Photos by Priscillakittycat

Maracuja Flower 1 Maracuja Vine 1

There are a few reasons why I love Passion Fruit.  First, the flower that gives rise to the fruit is beautiful.  The flower emits a lovely aroma and attracts bees, butterflies and wasps who spread its pollen. The origin of passion fruit is unknown but it is believed to be native of Brasil where 16th century Spanish catholics called it “flor de las cinco llagas”.  They believed that the flower symbolized the death of Christ (Passion of Christ), hence the name Passion Fruit; the five petals represented the disciples (minus Peter and Judas), the corona symbolizes the crown of horns around Christ’s head, and other features were a symbol of the wounds, nails, and whips used on Christ.

I also love passion fruit for its tangy and sweet taste and the soft texture of the pulp.  Some varieties of passion fruit are very tangy.  It depends on the color of the fruit.  When the pulp is tangy, you can add some sugar and water…and it makes for a great and nutritious juice.

Desserts made with passion fruit are so pretty because the color of the pulp really stands out.  In a very ripe yellow passion fruit, the pulp has a bright yellow-orange color. The tangy taste goes very will with chocolate, especially dark and Belgian chocolate.

The nutritional value of Passion Fruit is impressive.  It is loaded with polyphenols which prevent cardiovascular disease.  The pulp is high in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and carotenoids (vitamin A).  Fiber is also a huge component of Passion Fruit.

Last but not least, Passion Fruit has a calming effect.  It is a natural way to relax the body and mind.

The photos you see are from the passion fruit vines I planted here at home.  You can never have enough passion fruit!


Passion Fruit – Vine to Table

Passion Fruit Vine DSC_0660 DSC_0657 DSC_0663 DSC_0415 DSC_0382

The origin of the seeds for this lovely plant are a secret that I can’t divulge.  Isn’t she lovely?  I planted the seeds a couple of years ago and the vine has taken over one area of our backyard.  A bit of useful information:  If you want the vine to bear an abundance of fruit, you have to take the place of a bee.  And how is it that a person can become a “Busy Bee”?  I take long pole and tape feathers or cotton swabs to the end of the pole.  I reach the pole toward an open flower…swab the pollen…and share it with another flower. I go from flower to flower, just like a bee would.  (There aren’t enough real bees or butterflies to do the job of pollination.)

There’s another important detail to the art.  Passion fruit flowers only open at 1:30 p.m. every day…and sometimes only open for brief periods.  So the Busy Bee must arrive on time.  I promise to share when the fruits of my labor are ready for harvest again.