Foraging for passionfruit

Summer foraging in Sydney means scores of passionfruit.


There is this passionfruit vine that hangs over a tall fence in a pedestrian only walkway.

I’ve had my eye on it since I discovered its existence, shortly after I arrived in Sydney.

This particular passionfruit vine has long taunted me. I’d visit it only to find either a profusion of flowers or halfway formed fruit pushing out of labouring blooms (and often both).

But never any ripe fruit.


Around the end of December, summer here in the southern hemisphere, I finally timed it right. The vine was bursting, the fruit was coming ripe, and the cockatoos were lurking nearby.

When ripe, passionfruit will turn purple and fall off the vine. They might even roll onto a footpath. I collected a shirt-full of the purple-skinned fruit that day, and more the next time I visited.

They may fall from the tree with smooth skins, but will wrinkle after a few days on the counter. That’s how you know they’re ready to be halved and enjoyed.

The seeds are edible and give easily when you bite. Tangy and sweet, it’s a classic pavlova topping, but equally good chilled and eaten with a spoon.

Delicious. And sweetest when handpicked from the vine down the street.

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