Feature Foreign Fruit: Parchita

After a long pause, I thought I’d get back to my series of posts about interesting fruit I encounter while I’m abroad.  I find it interesting that these posts get, by far, the most regular traffic of any post on our blog.  Maybe that means I’m not the only crazy fruit-and-veggy foody out there?  In case you’d like to read any of the previous posts, here are the links: curuba, anon, mamón, pitahaya, South American sapote, and guavita.

“Parchita” in Venezuela means passionfruit but, for those of you who have traveled elsewhere in Latin America, it is also commonly known as the “maracuyá.”  (Side note: Maracuyá is one of those foreign words that I love to say. For some reason, it’s fun to try to get the accent right: a cheerful and emphatic “yah” on the last syllable.)  To me, I will forever associate my time in Venezuela with the parchita.  It seems to always be available in the market, and its juice is used to flavor many yummy treats—the best of which, to me, is parchita gelato.   There are actually several kinds of parchita but the one I show, and the one I see the most in Venezuela, is the golden.  The golden parchita can get very large (as big as a grapefruit), but most of those I see and the one I show here is about the size of a small apple.  On the outside, it has a smooth and shiny rind that is mostly yellow with some beautiful orange tint to it.  The rind is surprisingly light and airy and is quite easy to pop open.  On the inside, it is filled with many seeds that are surrounded by a delightful gelatinous flesh.  In terms of texture, it basically feels like you’re eating grapes without their skins that have big tasteless seeds (as opposed to grape seeds that are usually bitter).  I like both the texture of the gel and the crunchy seeds and, of course, the flavor, which is delicately sweet–even floral, maybe like the soft scent of a plumeria.  You can eat the flesh on its own or mixed into other things (I love it in yogurt), or you can make juice with it.  All around, it is just a delightful fruit and I can’t believe it’s taken me over a year to highlight it on this blog!

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~ by Chela on March 28, 2010.

9 Responses to “Feature Foreign Fruit: Parchita”

  1. Unfortunately, I can’t stand the texture of this fruit. I love the flavor, but can’t bring myself to eat it. I also dislike papaya because it seems to have a weird aftertaste. Any other fruit I will pretty much inhale.

  2. It sounds delicioso except for the seeds part. I can’t stand kiwis for the same reason. I’m glad to see a new fruit post. I think I’m oddly inspired to start featuring toilets of the world!

  3. hi, i’m an FS candidate waiting on clearances (and a mom of 2). I lived in Vzla years ago as an exchange student so I’ve been enjoying your blog! I linked to yours from mine. Congrats on your onward assignment!!
    best, Bridget

  4. You are so right about this fruit being everywhere here. Only here have I found parchita vinaigrette and parchita flavored cod liver oil (the kids love it). Unfortunately, I find it way too sour to eat alone, so I always consume it in some other form (juice, etc.). In any case, it remains one of my favorites.

  5. the one u posted in the photograph its commonly known as ‘granadilla’ not ‘maracuyá’…

    • That’s interesting — I hadn’t heard the name ‘granadilla’ before. But, when I did some Google-ing, it seems that it is yet another common name for passion fruit, which I’ve heard called ‘parchita’ in Venezuela and ‘maracuya’ in other Latin American countries. While living in Venezuela, I also discovered there are a lot more varieties of passion fruit that I knew of — purple, yellow, giant, etc. All the more to try!

  6. parchita es muy buena y deliciosa

  7. i grew up in venezuela but live in the states now, i sure miss that parchita and actually the other fruit is called “granada” its similar to parchita and i would say the same family but totally diferent flavors, granada is red inside with clear seeds whereas parchita is yellow with black seeds, have never heard of maracuya, must be a different name but in another country, someone mentioned papaya which in vzla is called lechoza, another delicious fruit when made into a juice.

  8. I had an incredible parchita pie in venezuela. Exquisite. Better than l;emon meringue

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