Passion Fruit (Passiflora edulis) or Maracuya. Images of the passion fruit arbor, bugs, fruits and seeds.
Our favorite flavor of yogurt here in Costa Rica is Passion Fruit or Maracuja (mare-ah-coo-ya). We were told that the passion fruit vine was easy to grow. So we sampled about 50 different fruits (not a hard job) and dried out some seeds from one of our favorites. There are two different types, Golden and Purple. We chose to grow Golden. Passion Fruit is said to have qualities that reduce inflammation, help with depression issues and reduce anxiety. So eat up.
Making the Arbors
We made two different kinds of arbors, one with store bought fencing and nails on wood posts and one using only bamboo and twine. The bamboo one cost us virtually nothing to build and will simply rot away after two years but is more difficult to pull fruit from without disturbing the rest of the vine. The post and fencing arbor makes it easy to harvest fruits plus it looks like a big chia head in the garden, but it is not cost effective.
It was about 6 months before we started seeing flowers and then the fruit came. It seemed to take forever once the little green balls started to grow. I watched everyday because I really wanted to eat it. As the fruits got bigger I noticed that a weird insect started coming around.
These insects have multiple colors and multiple designs. When I looked them up online I found very few with similar colors or similar designs but the closest examples were Passion Fruit Bugs,Leaffooted Bugs or Flag Winged Bugs (Paryphes, Coridae or Leptoglossus Zonatus).
Eating the Fruit
The Passion Fruit shell is hard but with some effort you can bite in to it or pull it apart with your hands to get to the coated seeds inside. It is at its peak ripeness when it changes to a pale yellow color. The juicy seeds are edible and you can simply slurp up everything, add it to your smoothie or cook it into a jelly. When making jelly we strain out the seeds after cooking so the jelly has a smooth texture but still has the wonderful flavor of passion fruit.