Indonesian Fruit Installment 5: Markisa — Passion Fruit
When I first saw a markisa, Indonesian passion fruit, I was perplexed. What was it? Is this a weird orange? But it is definitely not an orange. How do you eat it? Should I bite into it? I have to admit that my fruit adventures here have brought back a wonderful sense of discovery that brings me back to childhood. The oddly constructed, tasty, and colorful markisa had a lot to do with this sense of discovery.
Like all fruits, the markisa pictured is one of many varieties. Passion fruit comes from all over the world, so you may be familiar with the purple variety. According to Wikipedia, there are two varieties in Indonesia, and I chose the one meant for eating — lucky me. Chloe and I debated for some time how to eat markisa. When we held the orange outside and pressed down it bounced back in a rubbery way. It is one of the most bizarre feeling fruits I have so far encountered. We decided it would be wise to cut into the markisa and past the bouncy part.
The cut revealed a layer below the orange inside that was completely white. The white layer felt alien. It didn’t seem natural at all. The texture was a combination of some kind of stretchy yet soft rubber mixed with a little shag carpet. Cutting into the white layer revealed the fruit:
The markisa seeds sat in a pool of very sweet and tasty liquid that, well, tasted like the passion fruit flavoring found in a lot of desserts in the States, only this was natural. I personally enjoy the taste and think it is a good amount of sweet.
After slurping down the seeds we were left to look at and touch the from-another-planet inside. It was a very strange texture. It looked like it could be used as some kind of packaging material with the small white rods. This actually makes sense, because this is where the seeds are held.
Markisa juice is delicious. Here is a wonderful food blog with markisa juice making instructions. There are also many great recipes if you are looking for something Indonesian inspired to try at home. I will post some of my own recipes soon. Happy eats to all!