My Colombian Kitchen: Granadilla

The round, tough shell of the granadilla (Passiflora ligularis) is usually orange with white freckles all over it. Once you open it, you’ll find inside a mass of black seeds enveloped in goop, which you can scoop out with a spoon or do as Colombians do and slurp it out.

So how do you pop the top off to get at the inside? Frankly, at home I just get a knife and saw through it, neatly in half and scoop out the seeds on either side.

Colombians laugh at me when I do that.

Colombians take the granadilla in their hands, and with their thumbs make little indentations all the way around near the stem. Then you break the top of the fruit off at that perforation.  Then you slurp out the gooey stuff inside. Then you try not to think about the last time you had a bad head cold. It’s not mucus. Really.

The goop is sweet, and the crunch from the seeds is pleasant. This isn’t a fruit that can be cooked; it’s amazing eaten as is, and is easy to take on a picnic lunch or to the office. It’s a wonderful addition to fruit salads, and I personally love it in a cocktail; throw it into a gin and tonic at home, and you’ll see how it sweetens the drink for a tropical twist.

Of course, this fruit isn’t unique to Colombia – you can find it in surrounding countries, too, and as far away as Asia and Africa. You can buy granadilla anywhere around the city. I suggest going to a fruteria, from the huge warehouse ones to the tiny neighborhood ones, since you’ll often get lower prices and better quality, fresher fruits there.

Read more about Colombian ingredients.

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