Botanical and Culinary Passions at Advent

Passion Fruit is both eaten and juiced. Its concentrate is often blended with mango and pineapple juices.
© Karen Andrews

What could be more fitting therefore than Passion Fruit as the final conclusion to my 2019 Advent Botany blog? This is an update of an unpublished blog written nearly 2 years ago. As I have researched and written each blog this year, I noted that a serious note sneaked into the intended, passionate Christmas celebration of plants. This was not pre-planned. It simply seems to reflect the state of the world at the end of 2019. The UN Climate Change talks failed, the World’s biodiversity is threatened and Australian bush fires are still burning as I write.

Passion Fruit

Passiflora edulis cut in half to expose pulp and seeds
© Karen Andrews

The most widely cultivated Passion Fruit worldwide is Passiflora edulis. Vanderplank lists 20 species with edible fruits in his book Passion Flowers. Of these, just 5 species are grown for their fruit. Most sources refer to only Passiflora edulis and Passiflora edulis var. flavicarpa in active cultivation. The latter is regarded as too sharp for many palates. 

Culinary Uses

Passion Fruit pulp and seeds
© Karen Andrews

Today, Passion Fruit retains a greater exotic and exclusive status by comparison with pineapples and mangoes. Passion Fruit is both eaten and juiced. Its concentrate is often blended with other exotic juices like mango and pineapple to add flavour and aroma. It is also used in jams, purées, sorbets and other desserts. Passion Fruit or passion fruit extract are popular ingredients with pâtisserie or pastry chefs to add flavour in baking. A number of recipes to try out appear below.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

© Karen Andrews


References and Further Reading

Vanderplant, John (2000): Passion Flowers. Marston House. Third Edition.

Copyright Note

Karen does not seek or receive any commercial interest or advantage from this blog. She is not promoting any business venture. She simply loves to share fascinating facts about plants. These pages illustrate her love of plants, botany, biodiversity, gardens and creative expression. There is always so much to learn about plant diversity. This blog is designed as a showcase for photography, commentary on plants and wildlife, gardens and other places visited, horticulture and related topics. Viewpoints are her own, not those of her employer.

© Karen Andrews 2018 onwards. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Karen Andrews and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

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