Finally, after about 18 months, we’ve got them!
Passion Fruit vines are easy to grow in South Florida, as few pests or diseases bother them. Their lush, deep green leaves and large, showy flowers are beautiful. And they easily yield fruit once the task of hand pollination is applied.
The fruit starts out like a egg sized green tomato. Gradually, its density decreases. The skin develops spots. Gradually turns brown and wrinkled. Then the fruit falls off the vine. That’s when they’re harvested.
After a few days inside, they are ripe and ready to eat. Ironically, the passion fruit is almost as ugly as the vine and flowers are beautiful.
Ripe Passion Fruit sure doesn’t look like much. They are the size of a small lemon. And they have an surprising odor. It’s rich, sweet, tropical, with some distinct guava and unique passion fruit highlights.
When cut open, the odor intensifies. And a delightfully greenish-yellow, gelatinous, seedy pulp is revealed.
But like so many passionate things, not all things are as they seem. The pulp, smelling so full of promise, tastes almost exactly like the green pulp surrounding tomato seeds! The delicious odor is noticeably absent during the eating. Maybe most of it resides in the husk.
The taste? Not bad. But nothing to get excited about. And there’s not much pulp which is OK with me.
Passion Fruit is the first tropical fruit that completely fails to impress me. Had I sampled it before building a trellis and planting several vines, it would have been relegated, as an ornamental, to a pot.