[Machu Picchu Itinerary: Day 3 - Trail (Chaullay-La Playa-Santa Teresa). After breakfast, around 7 a.m., we will begin a 5-hour walk. On the way, we will go through the Collpabamba village in the rainforest area. We will see waterfalls and a wide variety of plants and flowers before arriving to the area called La Playa where we will have lunch. Later, we will walk for 2 hours until we get to Santa Teresa camping grounds at 5,413 ft. (1,650 m). Thermal baths and rest this evening in camp.]
This is a granadilla. A type of passionfruit. I’m most familiar with the wrinkly, spotted, ugly purple-colored fruits languishing in a corner of my local produce store back in San Francisco. I can’t say that I’ve ever tasted a purple passion fruit fresh.
Apparently there are these orange granadillas, the purples types, and a yellow/light greenish version called a maracuya.
In the last week or so, I’ve had probably two dozen of these orange babies. I’m obsessed. They’ve got a crackly, easily breakable shell. A soft, spongy white interior that protects the seeds. Once you break the white interior, the seeds sort of all stick together in a giant wobbly ball that’s easy to suck out.
The flavor is delicious. Lightly sweet and kind of pineapple tasting, but more tropical (if you can imagine that). But the texture and eating experience is the fun part. I’ve never eaten anything with such an intriguing and addicting texture. The seeds are sort of like slimy, smooth, tapioca juiceballs with a large, crunchy chia seed in the middle. Just bizarre, but so good. It’s also fun to see if you can suck out the entire seedball at one time. I’m a nerd.
I’ve had these in Costa Rica before and am so glad to be able to eat them again.
After eating granadillas, I wanted to try a maracuya because they’re all from the same family.They look basically the same, but they are so different. The maracuya has a way harder exterior and orangey seeds instead of the grayish granadilla ones, but the maracuya smells amazing and is more fragrant. Exactly like what you’d imagine passionfruit and tropical to smell like. But it is unbearably sour. If I had an entire spoonful of sugar on top, I still don’t know if I could eat it. Granadillas are still my favorite.
Last week, I had lucuma-flavored frozen yogurt and a lucuma smoothie. Having never seen a lucuma fruit before, I was curious. I’ve seen lucuma powder at Whole Foods and always assumed it was some sort of health food, but didn’t know it came from a fruit.
I couldn’t buy just one lucuma fruit to try since it came in a package of five. Oh well, turns out I like lucuma. If I thought granadillas were weird, lucuma are even weirder. I feel like “lucuma” are like “sheep” – no plural “s”. Anyway, lucuma are like bananas in the sense that the fruit is not juicy. At all. In fact, it’s kind of like eating a very dry and smooth sweet potato with a finer mouthfeel.
How weird is that?! I always expect my fruit to be somewhat juicy. Lucuma smells strongly like dates and tastes kind of like mild maple syrup-flavored prunes. Very mild though. It seems like a good carb-heavy fruit with a round black pit like an avocado’s. I can see why stores sell lucuma powder, the fruit is powdery to start with.
The hunt for the ever elusive marignon is still on though. I will eat the fruit of the cashew nut!