Sunday, November 28, 2010

Badea (Passiflora quadrangularis)

This post is an ode to badea, a member of the Passiflora family that also includes passionfruit, curuba, and grandilla. The family is native to the American tropics, and in Colombia we have a lot of different species in this fragrant family. All the Passiflora I know of have an inedible, plastic-y rind that can be broken or cut to reveal a matrix of slimy, tart pulp holding black seeds. Some Passiflora, such as granadilla and curuba, are eaten as fruits, and one slurps out the pulp and eats it, seeds and all. Other Passiflora, such as gulupa and passionfruit, are mainly used for juice.

Badea is the largest fruit in the Passiflora family, and I believe it grows in hot to mild climates (but not up in the high plains where we live). I recently ran across a badea at our town's market, and curiosity compelled me to buy it and make juice out of it.

Here's the badea, whole and cut in two.

To make juice from badea or any other Passiflora fruit, you cut it open and take out the seeds and pulp with a spoon (the hard rind you just throw away).

You then put the pulp and seeds in a blender, and add water.

After you give it a good blend, you strain the juice to take out the seed bits. Luckily, lots of the pulp goes through the strainer so you have a good juice with lots of fiber.

After straining you put the juice back in the blender and add sweetener. In our house we rarely use white sugar, but rather panela, the unrefined molasses that's a staple in our region and many others in Colombia.

You blend everything up again, and you're left with a delicious juice. Badea gives a milder, less tart juice than passionfruit, but just as fragrant.

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