A few years ago, to my grand dismay, dad introduced the passion fruit tree, a fruit tree I was not fond of, in our backyard. Not only were its fruits featured on my list of dislikes, but I had heard so many stories about this vine and the animals it supposedly attracted that I was reluctant to accept it in our own yard.
When he planted it in spite of my protests, I was equally unhappy and terrified. The gullible girl in me who once believed pink earthworms were how guavas got their pink flesh had also let herself be convinced that the passion fruit tree attracted grass snakes. This vine was thus featured high on my list of plants and trees to avoid approaching as much as possible.
With time, I forgot this vine existed as it never produced fruits, or at least the one I knew of, for somehow, dad had managed to plant not just one of those vines, but two. The second one, which we only really discovered this year, is so close to the house that it has now reached our rooftop. There are no crawling animals in sight, fortunately.
I have, thus, come to accept its proximity to the house, especially since this year, for the first time, it has produced dozens of fruits, which ultimately means that this dreaded vine is here to stay. Its fruits are the biggest grenadias – we call passion fruits grenadias – I have ever seen in Haiti. The ones sold on our streets are typically wrinkled. In contrast, ours are round in shape, have a smooth, shiny and hard outer shell, if I can call it that, and their pulp is extremely juicy and on the sweet side from what I am told.
With all these praises for this vine and its produce, you would think I finally enjoy its fruits, right? Well, I have yet to make peace with this fruit flavor, though I now manage to drink down our local cocktails without making too many faces.
Indeed, passion fruits are used in most, if not all, of our fruit based cocktails. Though, I am well aware of the fact that whenever cocktail maison (house cocktail) or rum punch is featured on a menu there is a strong likelihood that the main juice base is grenadias, I always fall for it.
Somehow, I always let myself be convinced that there’s no passion fruit in a cocktail before I order it, yet I always detect its flavor with the very first sip. But since I am not one to easily send food or drink back after ordering them, I must confess that I have drunk my good share of passion fruit beverages, in spite of my dislike of this fruit.
I have yet to try and drink pure passion fruit juice, however. But who knows, maybe all these cocktails will train my palate and this time next year, I will tell you that I finally had my first full glass of grenadia juice…