Passiflora mollissima Bailey – Banana Passionfruit
Most of you may ask , What is a Banana Passionfruit?
Well here it goes, Passiflora mollissima Bailey is a climbing vine that produces a banana shaped fruit that starts of green and ripens into a yellow lush fruit having an inside of a yellow pulp with black seeds very similar to its relative the Passionfruit. It has a slightly milder flavour to its relative the Passionfruit but holds very fragrant notes. Perfect for sauces, fruit salads, drinks making curds and many more.
The banana passionfruit is native and commonly found in the wild in Andean valleys from Venezuela and eastern Colombia to Bolivia and Peru. It is believed to have been domesticated only shortly before the Spanish Conquest. Today it is commonly cultivated and the fruits, which are highly favored, are regularly sold in local markets. In 1920, the United States Department of Agriculture received seeds from Guayaquil, Ecuador (S.P.I. No. 51205), and from Bogotá, Colombia (S.P.I. No. 54399). The vine is grown in California as an ornamental under the name “softleaf passionflower”. It has never succeeded in Florida; is grown to some extent in Hawaii and the State of Madras, India. The climate of New Zealand seems highly suitable for it and it has been grown there, more or less commercially, for several decades. (Morton, 1987)
New Zealand gave Passiflora mollissima Bailey it a very fitting and appealing name of; Banana Passionfruit. (Morton, 1987)
In New Zealand from the months of March/April through to September the Banana Passionfruit crop is ripening and thriving, ready to be picked and eaten. The Banana Passionfruit can handle brief drops in temperature and has acclimatized well to the New Zealand environment. Found all over the country from Otago to the Waikato and beyond the Banana Passionfruit is a creeping vine that grows over trees, power lines, fences and in many different locations.
I have many plants growing all over my garden here in Dunedin, Otago New Zealand and decided I would harvest them and create an easy, carefree dessert.
Here is a easy carefree dessert using freshly picked Banana Passionfruit I created this week. A simply delicious fragrant fruit sauce served over moist cake crumb topped with seeded pulp and toasted thread coconut. Simple Easy and Delicious.
8 Banana Passionfruit
2 tbsp. White sugar
2 tbsp. Water
2 tbsp. Thread coconut
1/2 cup. Cake crumb/scraps
- Cut Banana Passionfruit in half length ways and remove pulp and seeds.
- In a pot combine pulp and seeds, sugar, water. Bring to a gentle simmer for 5-8 minutes, stirring to avoid sticking.
- Strain the mix into a clean bowl, press the seeds to remove as much liquid as possible.
- Return the strained liquid to the heat and reduce to form a thickened sauce. Cool.
- In a dry pot, over a medium heat toast coconut, constantly stirring until a light brown colour is achieved and becomes fragrant. (be careful it can burn quickly)
- In a tall glass place cake crumb/scrap and top with the fresh Banana Passionfruit sauce followed by a spoonful of the pulpy seeds and a sprinkle of toasted thread coconut.
Yield: 1/4 cup. Banana Passionfruit sauce.
Source of information: Morton, J. (1987). Banana passionfruit. (pp. 332-333). Miami, FL: Retrieved from http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/banana_passion_fruit.html