Giant Granadilla (Passiflora quadrangularis)

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The largest fruit in its genus, the giant granadilla, Passiflora quadrangularis L. (syn. P. macrocarpa M.T. Mast.), is often called merely granadilla, or parcha, Spanish names loosely applied to various related species; or it may be distinguished as granadilla real, grandadilla grande, parcha granadina or parcha de Guinea.

The pleasantly aromatic, melon-like fruit is oblong-ovoid, 4 3/4 to 6 in (12-15 cm) wide, and 8 to 12 in (10-30 cm) long; may be faintly ribbed or longitudinally 3-lobed; has a thin, delicate skin, greenish-white to pale- or deep-yellow, often blushed with pink. Beneath it is a layer of firm, mealy, white or pink flesh, 1 to 1 1/2 in (2.5-4 cm) thick, of very mild flavor, and coated with a parchment-like material on the inner surface. The central cavity contains some juice and masses of whitish, yellowish, partly yellow or purple-pink, sweet-acid arils (commonly referred to as the pulp), enclosing flattened-oval, purplish-brown seeds to 1/2 in (1.25 cm) long.

Food Uses

 The flesh of the ripe fruit, with the inner skin removed, is cut up and added to papaya, pineapple and banana slices in fruit salads, seasoned with lemon or lime juice. It is cooked with sugar and eaten as dessert, or is canned in sirup; sometimes candied; but it is so bland that it needs added flavoring. In Indonesia, the flesh and arils are eaten together with sugar and shaved ice. Australians add a little orange juice and usually serve the dish with cream. They also use the stewed flesh and raw arils together as pie filling. The whole arils can be eaten raw without removing the seeds.

 Jelly can be made from the unpeeled flesh boiled for 2 hours and the pulp simmered separately. The juice strained from both is combined and, with added sugar and lemon juice, is boiled until it jells.

  The pulp (arils) yields a most agreeable juice for cold drinks. It is bottled in Indonesia and served in restaurants. Wine is made in Australia by mashing several of the whole ripe fruits, adding sugar and warm water and allowing the mix to ferment for 3 weeks, adding 2 pints of brandy, and letting stand for 9 to 12 months. The young, unripe fruit may be steamed or boiled and served as a vegetable, or may be cut up, breaded and cooked in butter with milk, pepper and nutmeg. In Java ripe fruits are scarce because of squirrels and other predators. The root of old vines is baked and eaten in Jamaica as a substitute for yam.

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