Sunday, February 1, 2015

Where's the passion?

One thing I really enjoy about a new place is trying new things. (Ok, I just like trying new things, whether I'm in a new place or a familiar place!)

I love trying new food! I would describe myself as adventurous with new culinary delights. It takes a lot for me to actively dislike a certain food or flavor. There are only a few I can come up with off the top of my head: cottage cheese, "Hamburger Helper"...ok I'm stumped now. I'm sure there are more things I don't like, but you get the picture. The list is small.

Since living in Germany, I have been purchasing a good percentage of our produce from produce markets and outdoor vendors. The selection is usually so much better than in the grocery store, the produce looks so much better and I feel good about supporting local and family businesses. I have been trying to sample a new fruit or veggie every so often.

My first "new fruit" was the persimmon.

Now, you can get persimmons in the States, but they aren't always easy to find. Asian speciality stores or a "Whole Foods" type of store would be most likely to carry them. They are in season in the fall: October-December. In Germany, they are called "kaki" or "sharon". The persimmon is a firm, apple-sized fruit that typically is a light orange to a dark orange color. When eaten raw, you just wash them and cut them into slices, consuming both the skin and flesh. They have a mild, sweet flavor that I love! The inside fruit flesh is firm but soft to chew. There are no seeds to worry about.

Verdict: I love persimmons! They are a bit pricey, usually 1 euro each or sometimes 2 for 1.50 euros.

About two weeks ago, I was purchasing my produce at one of the outdoor markets and the lady asked if I wanted 10 maracujas for 1 euro. I had no idea what these were! I asked her to show me. They were dark purple plum-sized fruits. They usually are marked at 4 for 1 euro, but were getting overly ripe, so they were trying to sell them quickly. She told me they were a sweet fruit and very tasty, so I took 10. Once I got home, I washed them and googled "how to eat a maracuja". I discovered while on Google that these were actually passion fruits, as a maracuja is green. You slice them in half and scoop out the seeds and "jelly" in the middle. That's it. You don't get much out of each fruit.

This picture was taken after washing and slicing them in half. I had not tasted them at this point.

Verdict: Yuck! I do not like passion fruit. This was surprising, as I really like fruit and haven't come across a fruit I actively dislike until now. The jelly and seeds had a strange tart flavor that I didn't care for. I have wondered if the flavor was a little off due to the over-ripeness, so I would try one again that wasn't at the cusp of spoiling. :) Haha!

I would actually like to find and try a real maracuja now, as they are supposed to be more mild and sweet than a passion fruit.

I guess I'm just not very passionate about passion fruit.

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