I wanted to share this with you, because I got quite excited about this discovery. It was a little bit like being 5 years old and finding a shell on the beach that you think no one else has ever seen.
I was driving my little guy home from Kindergarten the other day and I saw something pink in the tangle of trees and scrub growing along the side of the road. I pulled over and parked the car and headed over to where I thought I saw the pink flash.
I was right. This is what I saw
This is a banana passionfruit flower, and on moving some of the tree branches back slightly. I discovered this.
Tons of passionfruit growing on the side of the road. No, they were not hanging over anyone’s fence, they were just growing wild at the bottom of a huge cliff.
I started to have visions of a passionfruit slice, passionfruit vinaigrette, passionfruit and meringue tarts, passionfruit and lemon something-or-others. I would need to wait until there were enough ripe to pick them, what if someone else found them? I would need to check them every day..
Big purple unripe passionfruit. Banana passionfruit are not ripe until they are a golden yellow in colour. They are a cooler climate passionfruit than the purple passionfruit that is commonly found in Australia.
Cut in half when they are ripe, they look like this.
I decided to check some facts on banana passionfruit when I found them.
Apparently in New Zealand they are considered a weed, because they encroach on our native forests. The Dept of Conservationdestroys these.
So that presented a bit of a dilemma for me, should I wait until all the fruit was ripe, pick it and hope it had not been sprayed? Or should I report my discovery to the local city council. Tough choice …. free possibly poisoned food vs right thing to do. I decided to go with the report it to the city council option, since I really have no way of knowing if the vines have been sprayed with poisons already. I did not think my family would be too keen on being poisoned and I am pretty darn fond of the native forests.
But it also got me thinking. If this grows so well here that it’s considered a weed, why is no one cultivating it in a safe manner and selling it? We buy Australian passionfruit which cost a small fortune to top our Pavlova’s and Meringues with instead - hmmm something about that does not make sense.
So unfortunately there is no passionfruit recipe to share with you since apparently this lovely fruit is a weed.