Fruits: Passion Fruit, Paw-paw, Pineapple & Sharon Fruit

Jamalafoods Fruits & Vegetables Part 4 continues with the origins and culinary, nutritional benefits and medicinal uses of Passion Fruit from Southern American countries, Paw-paw from Eastern USA particularly to Florida and Eastern Texas, Pineapple from originate from Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay and Sharon Fruit named after the Sharon plains in Israel.

 

 

 

Ripe purple type from Australia and its cross section

Ripe purple type from Australia and its cross section

Passion Fruit is a vine species of passion flower native to Southern American countries such as Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. The common name “passionfruit” was given to it  by English speakers except for South Africa where it is known as the ‘purple granadallia’. Cultivation of the plant requires a warm, frost-free climate like that found in the tropics. The passionfruit has an oval shape with a yellow or dark purple skin in it’s ripened state. The inside of the fruit  is soft to firm in texture and is filled with lots of seeds. The ripened fruit can be eaten directly or its juice can be extracted; the juice is often added to other fruit juice mixes to enhance their flavour and aroma.

A Passion fruit vine

A Passion fruit vine

Different countries use  passion fruit in different ways. Brazilians use the fruit to make a  passion fruit mousse while its seeds is used to garnish cakes. Indonesians love it raw and straight while Israelis prefer to have it fermented to produce wine. In Australia and New Zealand, where it is called “passionfruit”, it is available commercially both fresh and tinned. It is added to fruit salads, and fresh fruit pulp or passion fruit sauce is commonly used in desserts, including as a topping for pavlova (a regional meringue cake) and ice cream, a flavouring for cheesecake, and in the icing of vanilla slices. A passionfruit-flavoured soft drink called Passiona has also been manufactured in Australia since the 1920s. In the United States it is often used as an ingredient in juice mixes. In Vietnam passion fruit is blended with honey and ice to create refreshing smoothies. In South Africa passion fruit, known locally as Granadilla (the yellow variety as Guavadilla), is used to flavour yogurt. It is also used to flavour soft drinks such as Schweppes‘ “Sparkling Granadilla” and numerous cordial drinks. It is often eaten raw or used as a topping for cakes and tarts. Granadilla juice is commonly available in restaurants. The yellow variety is used for juice processing, while the purple variety is sold in fresh-fruit markets.

Pawpaw fruit

Pawpaw fruit

Pawpawpaw pawpaw-paw, or common pawpaw, is a species of Asimina (the pawpaw genus) in the same plant family (theAnnonaceae) as the custard-apple, cherimoya, sweetsop, ylang-ylang and soursop. The pawpaw is native to the Eastern, Southern, and MidwesternUnited States and adjacent southernmost Ontario, Canada, from New York west to eastern Nebraska, and south to northern Florida and easternTexas. The pawpaw is a patch-forming (clonal) understory tree found in well-drained, deep, fertile bottom-land and hilly upland habitat, with large, simple leaves and large fruits. The paw paw is one of the largest edible fruits indigenous to the United States.

Asimina triloba in fruit

Asimina triloba in fruit

The fruit of the pawpaw “looks a bit like mango, but with pale yellow, custardly, spoonable flesh and black, easy-to-remove seeds.”Wild-collected pawpaw fruits, ripe in late August to mid September, have long been a favorite treat throughout the tree’s extensive native range in eastern North America, and on occasion are sold locally at farmers’ markets. Pawpaw fruits have a sweet, custardish flavor somewhat similar to banana, mango, and cantaloupe,varying significantly by source or cultivar,with more protein than most fruits. Paw-paw fruits can br enjoyed eaten raw. It has to be frozen and stored well in order to be transported. In use, the pulp is added to baked dessert recipes and as a replacement in other dishes where banana is usually used.

An unripe pineapple fruit

An unripe pineapple fruit

Pineapple is the popular tropical fruit of the Ananas comosus plant of the Bromeliaceae family. It is valued for its edible fruit that is actually made up of  of  lots of berries tightly squashed together . The term pineapple is derived from its resemblance to the pine cone. The plant is said to originate from Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay. The pineapple is named for its resemblance to the pine cone.Pineapples may be cultivated from a crown cutting of the fruit,possibly flowering in 20–24 months and fruiting in the following six months.Pineapple does not ripen significantly post-harvest.

Pineapple prepared for sale in Haikou, Hainan, China

Pineapple prepared for sale in Haikou, Hainan, China

Pineapples are best eaten when fresh. It can be preserved in cans or its juice can be extracted. A wide variety of foodstuff such as desserts, fruit salad, jams, ice cream, candy, yogurt use  pineapple as an ingredient. Meat dishes also tend to be more tender and tasty when pineapple is added. Raw pineapples are an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C. The fruit also contains the  beneficial proteolytic enzyme, bromelain, a substance that breaks down protein, thus, it is often used as meat marinade and tenderizer.

Piña Colada

Piña Colada

The flesh and juice of pineapples are used in cuisines around the world. In many tropical countries, pineapple is prepared, and sold on roadsides as a snack. They are sold whole, or in halves with a stick inserted. Whole, cored slices with a cherry in the middle are a common garnish on hams in the West. Chunks of pineapple are not only used in desserts such as fruit salad, but also as a main ingredient in savory dishes, such in hamburgers, and as a pizza topping. Crushed pineapple is used in yogurt, jam, sweets, and ice cream. The juice of the pineapple is served as a beverage, and is also as a main ingredient in such cocktails as the Piña colada.

Piña Barong Tagalog

Piña Barong Tagalog

In countries such as the Philippines, the leaves of the plant are processed to produce a fabric locally called pinya. The fabric can then be used to make a variety of things like clothing, wall paper and furnishings. Piña is a fiber made from the leaves of a pineapple plant and is commonly used in the Philippines. It is sometimes combined with silk or polyester to create a textile fabric. Piña’s name comes from the Spanish word piña which literally means pineapple. Since piña is from a leaf, the leaf has to be cut first from the plant. Then the fiber is pulled or split away from the leaf. Most leaf fibers are long and somewhat stiff. Each strand of the piña fiber is hand scraped and is knotted one by one to form a continuous filament to be handwoven and then made into a piña cloth.

Their red color and cracking skins show which persimmons are ripe. The yellow fruit are nearly ripe and will ripen, especially if exposed to ethylene.

Their red color and cracking skins show which persimmons are ripe. The yellow fruit are nearly ripe and will ripen, especially if exposed to ethylene.

Sharon Fruit is named after the Sharon plains in Israel. The fruit is more widely known as Persimmons. Persimmons are edible fruit of the plant genus Diospyros and the family Ebenaceae. The fruit is generally light yellow-orange to dark red-orange in color and is spherical or pumpkin-shaped. Sharon fruits contain high levels of glucose, dietary fiber, phenolic compounds and other trace minerals. The fruit is also valued for its various medicinal and chemical properties.

Persimmons are best when eaten fresh where the skin is peeled off and the fruit cut into quarters, much like an apple. It can also be dried or cooked and then preserved. The flesh of the fruit is characterized by a firm, mushy texture. Countries such as China, Korea and Japan hand-dry persimmons to make into flattened and dried treats called hoshigaki (Japanese) and shi-bing (Chinese).  In some Asian areas, the leaves are also used to make tea.

The Sharon fruit was found to contain high levels of dietary fiber, phenolic compounds, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and manganese. They are also rich in vitamin C and beta carotene. Regular consumption of the fruit is believed to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis heart attacks.

 

See other parts of the series:

Fruits and Vegetables Part 1: Fruits – Ackee, Plaintain and Green Bananas

Fruits and Vegetables Part 2: Vegetables – Yam, Sweet Potato, Cassava and Breadfruit

Fruits and Vegetables Part 3: Fruits – Guava, Dates, Lychee and Papaya

Fruits and Vegetables Part 4: Fruits – Passion Fruit, Paw-paw, Pineapple and Sharon Fruit

Fruits and Vegetables Part 5: Vegetables – Dasheen, Taro, Callaloo, Okra and Cho-cho

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