CONTRIBUTED BY JOELLE YAMADA

It’s fruit time again!

I’m a delayed gratification girl, so I’ll start with a fruit I’m a bit ambivalent about.  But it’s SUPER interesting, so worth giving a try.  And who knows, it may turn out to be YOUR favorite fruit ever!

Egg fruit (aka, canistel) —

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Its name comes from the shape and the texture.  And this is where I will insert a disclaimer: The texture is WEIRD.  It’s very similar to a cooked egg yolk — kind of chalky, but more gummy than a yolk.  It’s about as opposite from the crispy wax apple as you can get.  After taking a bite, I wanted to grab a glass of water to cleanse my palate.  The flavor is mildly sweet with a slightly strange after taste.

You need to wait until the fruit softens to the touch before eating (kind of like a ripe avocado feels).  Then you can peel and eat.  This picture shows the texture a bit.

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You do not eat the peel or the pretty brown seeds.

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Egg fruit is high in niacin and carotene.  Typically available in the late winter or early spring.  My kids love it — so there’s at least ONE vote.  What do you think?

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I’m a bit of a purist about my fruit — just like to enjoy it on its own.  But THIS website has some kooky recipe possibilities for eggfruit.  Would love if someone wants to try the custard or fried rice or bread recipe and report back!!

So that’s enough delay…  here’s one of my favs!

Passionfruit —

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I had experienced passionfruit as part of desserts like the Aussie/Brit favorite Pavlova but I had never had a real passionfruit until moving here.  From late winter through the summer, you buy them all smooth and pretty and purple like this…

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And then you wait PATIENTLY until it looks like a wrinkled old woman.  Or old man, I guess.  Why did that roll so much better off the tongue as a slam to sweet women??  Sigh.  Anyways…  so you wait till they get wrinkled and then you cut them in half.  Be careful because the juice will run everywhere — you’ll eventually perfect the “cut and tip” to keep from loosing all the juice.

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Then you can just scoop and eat!  If you are feeding younger kids, you can gently scrape the inside of the fruit to release the seeds and… well, goop (for lack of a better word).  Because it can be hard for them to scoop out themselves.

Now, I know I gave the poor eggfruit a bit of a hard time about texture, and I really should with the passionfruit because the part you eat is honestly a lot like snot with seeds.  Very goopy and slimy.  BUT, it’s YU-MMY.  And somehow that makes it ok.

The flavor is initially sweet with that lovely passionfruit aroma, but then immediately tart as ALL get out!  You eat the seeds and so that adds a cruchiness to the whole experience.  Bottom line, I love these things.  They are a great source of niacin and good source of riboflavin.  It’s unusual in texture and complex in flavor, but YUM.  (You might also find yellow passionfruit around town — they are slightly oblong and bigger than the purple.  Also more tart.)

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I love to just eat them as they are, but it’s great poured over ice cream or added to a smoothie.  They are also great for bento because if you cut it just right, the top of the bento will “top” the passionfruit to keep it from spilling until lunch.

Passion fruit has been used medicinally for years.  Currently there is research going on regarding an extract of the purple passionfruit rind helping relieve asthma symptoms.

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And how about you?  What fruits/veggies have you discovered on Okinawa that you love or or that you don’t know what to do with?

3 COMMENTS

  1. Just came back from Okinawa, where I bought a box of passion fruit, and one single egg fruit. I have always loved passion fruit, but these from Okinawa seem to be bigger than the Thai or Vietnamese ones. I also got a yellow passion fruit, which I have never seen before. (But it tastes like regular passion fruit.)

    As for the egg fruit, I’m glad I got only one – interesting, but not my favorite!

  2. Thanks for the post I love to learn about new fruits. I am always scared to try unless I know how to eat them, I will be running out to the farmer market and stores to find these great treats. Thanks again!

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