In the early 1600s, a Jesuit priest came across a Passion flower in
the Victorians loved it and then fell out of love with it. Now it is making a comeback possibly due to the fruits’ popularity in modern gourmet cooking. England
There are many varieties and some are edible. Of the edible kind there are two big groups, the one with the dark skin one and the one with the yellow skin.
The plant itself, from the stem to the leaves and the flowers, have been used by South American natives for various medicinal purposes, none currently approved by the F.D.A.
The fruit has some of the most concentrated fragrance of any fruit species. The charm is in its acidity which enhances the intense flavour and natural sweetness. With fine vanilla ice-cream it is a delight. It can be used as a topping for many desserts and famously for Pavlova. It is made into soft drinks and is often used in tropical cocktails. The golden variety is best eaten fresh and the dark skin ones can be left to mature as the flavour intensifies further.
With the golden to near blood red seeds, the fruit qualifies as a colourful non-green fruit, with all the necessary anti-oxidants. To me it is just flavoursome.
The other passion of course is Bach’s St Matthew’s Passion, appropriate for this time of the year. The biologist Lewis Thomas when asked what message he would send to aliens famously said: “……Bach, all of Bach……”. Richard Dawkins picked it as one of his eight desert island discs. Now you know.
On the Easter music note, it is perhaps appropriate to mention Mahler’s Second Symphony: The Resurrection. The text of the music made no biblical reference and it was Mahler’s very personal view of life and his life was full of tragedies and suffering, with the premature deaths of his siblings and daughter, and his own heart disease. There has not been a greater composer to emerge since his death.