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!