Fruit Friday is back (for this week at least). This week’s fruit is the curuba, which is called banana passionfruit for it’s banana-like appearance and passionfruit-like pulp. It is a fruit native to the Andes jungle (grown between 1,800 to 3,200 m above sea level). Apparently, it gets its English name from New Zealand. It has all kinds of names everywhere else though: poka in Hawaii, taxo in Ecuador, and parcha in Venezuela. A little more about the history says it was “domesticated” after the Spanish conquest. And now even gatitos can sell it on the street!
According to Purdue University, in Peru the juice combined with aguardiente (remember the disgusting national alcohol) and sugar is served as a pre-dinner cocktail. My few encounters with curuba have been in juice and desserts, but I’m not too fond of it*. It’s usually made in milk, but I was curious and made it in water. It tasted a bit strange, there was a kind of bitter aftertaste, so I added some milk and all better.
*Last time I went to my home town, Manizales, about two years ago, I was on a bus and we made a lunch stop halfway in Honda. I couldn’t eat lunch because we had been on a winding road for a couple of hours and my stomach wasn’t very happy, so I thought a drink would be best. I ordered curuba juice, but forgot it was made in milk. That was probably the worst thing I could have ordered. I haven’t had curuba juice since then.