Passionflowers are amazing to look at, and as the above photo shows, they are accompanied by a green immature fruit and a “it’s ripe when wrinkled” fruit when in season. The loveliness of the flowers with their heady perfume is one reason to have these climbing plants in your yard, but when you open up a fruit, the delectably scented interior helps you understand why people enjoy having it around for the fruit as well.

The syrupy juice and seeds of Passiflora edulis (a native of Brazil) may be scooped out and eaten as is, but I enjoy making an “aqua fresca” with it by mixing the pulp with natural or mineral water and a bit of sugar to take the edge off the tartness. Many other recipes use this fruit for such things as dessert fillings and toppings, and ice cream flavouring and preserves, just to name a few. Some people here in the Jaltemba Bay area enjoy it right out of the rind with a light sprinkling of chili powder and lime juice. I giggled as I typed that last sentence – locals here seem to use chili powder and lime juice like North Americans use salt and pepper, and they put it on just about anything!

The varieties of passion fruit come in sizes from a small egg to grapefruit, and its colour ranges from light yellow to purple. The variety shown here is the “maracujá,” but I have also seen (and tasted) a smaller variety locally called “granada china” and “granadilla.”

Just for fun, I googled “Passionflower” and one of the links I found included photographs of the many varieties of these flowers. Click here to enjoy them too. Please note that not all Passionflowers bear fruit. If you are inspired to acquire one of these plants, I highly recommend researching these delectable plants first.

About the Author: Tosia Archer spends her winter living near El Tonino (a 20 minute drive north from La Peñita) along with her husband David and their Mexican adopted pets: dogs Agua Chili Bob and Momz, and their cat Blanca. They all travel south together by truck from Fenelon Falls, Ontario, Canada each fall and return there to work each spring. She enjoys photographing local wildlife and flowers, and then renders what she has seen into watercolour art. She volunteers with JBAR and J.E.E.P. and is a member of the Guayabitos Artists Collective and Writers Who Love Mexico.

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