Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sharing My First Passion Fruit

Ready to eat my first passion fruit

A friend of mine came by the other day to visit. As we sipped on our coffee talking about the upcoming holidays, she asked me how my lilikoi was doing. She lived in Hawaii for many years before moving to El Cerrito, so we both love and miss tropical fruits. I told her that I have quite a few fruits but they didn't seem to be ready yet. My passion vines started to bloom in June, and I discovered the fruits in early July. It is now November. I started to wonder whether they would ever be ripe.

We stepped out to the farm, and I lifted up the green bean vines over the passion fruit vines to show her the hanging fruits. One of the dark purple ones fell on the ground as I was pulling the vines. Since it was dark purple, perhaps it was ready although I thought it had to be wrinkly. I picked it up, and we went inside to cut it open. As I cut the smooth hard purple shell open, we immediately smelled the distinctive fragrance of passion fruit. Both of us cheered in excitement and took our cameras out to record this historical moment. We were both amazed that we could a fresh passion fruit right here in El Cerrito in the middle of November.

It took me two years to grow the cuttings indoors until they established roots. I planted them outside in November 2010. A year later, I have fruits. If it survives the winter, I am sure I'll have a lot more fruits next summer. My friend looked at the passion fruit with envy. I handed her a spoon and half of the fruit. "Let's try it!" I said.

It was sweet, and both of us savored it with fond memories. Passion fruit always reminds me of sharing them with my grandfather when I was a kid back in Taiwan. My memory of passion fruit was bigger. I am not sure whether they were bigger in the subtropical climate or perhaps everything looked bigger to a 5-year-old.

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