Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Passion For Lilikoi

Passiflora edulis. We know them as lilikoi... a good syrup over shave ice, a refreshing juice, and an amazing vining plant, with elaborate flowers and egg-shaped fruit. Thanks to Ruth, we have two vines taking over fences in our yard. Our chain link has never looked so beautiful. They grow fast, and happily, so we are already hoping we can whip up some of Janece's amazing passionfruit butter... but this depends on keeping Maria from eating all of them, straight from the vine!

The flower. It's quite a spectacle. Bold, and bodacious. With stories and details as intricate as the flower itself.

Ours are the smaller, purple variety. The fruit drops to the ground when it's ripe, but I try to get them before they fall. When they are ready, they slip easily off the vine. Also, they begin to shrivel a bit, then a lot, but unless they've become spoiled, they're usually only sweeter when they get this way.

It looks like our fence sprouted Martian eggs! The fruit is a lightweight, for its size, and feels hollow.

This one is about to drop. It's so much like an egg, it even has a hard outer skin, like the shell of an egg.

This specimen isn't fragrant, and it doesn't need anything else to make it more attractive!

I sawed this open with a serrated knife. It's not hard to cut, just a bit more than you might expect, like thin cardboard. Then, inside we find a rich jelly with slippery black seeds, and a distinctly tropical fragrance, tangy. Maria scoops it out with a spoon, and sighs and delights with each taste.

The flavor... it reminds me of pineapple with peach. I haven't actually paired pineapples and peaches, but that's my final answer.

Maybe you can tell me something about Passiflora edulis, confirm something... a visitor shared with me that the vine will only grow for seven years before the entire plant dies. Kapoot! Have you heard such a thing? She seemed quite certain of this fact. I suppose I could Google this, but sometimes I like to stumble upon information, or discover the answer in a conversation. Our neighbors have a massive vine, growing the width of their back yard, practically. It may not have long to go, and the thing is... a lot of neighbors have vines successfully propagated from the first neighbor's plant. So. What do you think? Will the junior plants of the original last only as long as the first plant? Does the seven years start from when the seed sprouts? Mysterious, mysterious Passiflora!


Janece said...

I'm so jealous!... Uh hum, I *mean*... I'm soooo happy for you guys!!! <3 I love the photos! And yes, the passionfruit curd... divine! Here's the recipe I used:


The mysterious, delicious and beautiful Passiflora is on my list of things to be planted the minute we are settled in a place of our own. <3

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Are we going to try to make something of the pineapple guavas when they ripen?
We could almost go into business!

Jennifer said...

We discovered lilikoi on our trip and loved it (while marveling at all the ways we found it being used). My favorite was a morning bread -- like banana bread; I can close my eyes and taste it....