07 June 2013

Passion fruit

     Another flower...pretty like the water hyacinth; but this one is more than just pretty.   The passion fruit, known in Nicaragua as calala, produces a delicious fruit as well as a pretty flower.  Different varieties of passion fruit grow in a lot more places than Nicaragua, including Virginia in corn and tobacco fields.   
     According to some sources the name 'passion fruit' is attributable to early missionaries somewhere who compared parts of the flower to the 'passion' or torture of Jesus:  the three stigmas of the flower reflected the three nails that nailed him to a cross; the twisty tendrils of the vine were like the whips that were used on him; and the ten petals of the flower 'resembled' the apostles (although I heard somewhere there were twelve apostles).  All whimsy, but a lovely flower nonetheless.
     And from each flower comes a fruit.  In markets in Bluefields the variety of calala for sale is smaller than what we have growing wild at False Bluff; and the fruit in the markets there have yellow, wrinkled skin.  
       Below are shown two vines that grow right outside the kitchen.  We made some serious inroads into this batch on a recent visit. 

     We pick our pale green variety, slice off the top 1/4 or so, and scoop out and eat the insides with a spoon, seeds and all.  The fruit also makes a delicious drink.