It may be the strangest looking berry you will come upon, however the passionfruit is undeniably a magical gift from the tropical gods. A native of southern Brazil & Paraguay, this fruit has been an important part of the international diet for over 500 years, and it can now be found in tropical locales all around the world. Passionfruit is the berry of the passion flower. The passion flower, which grows on the passionfruit vine (Passiflora edulis) is incredibly beautiful, with a sweet aroma of mild fruity nuances and a hint of heliotrope; it was named by missionaries in Brazil around 1700. Wild passionfruit can still be found on passionfruit vines growing on the Northwest shores of St. Thomas, where they are a welcome treat to calorie-starved hikers and surfers. Passionfruit is a cherished ingredient and natural ornament at Villa Norbu.
A ball of Health Benefits:
Passionfruit is super rich in Vitamin A & C, beta-cryptoxanthin and apha-carotene that boost immunity in the human body. It is also surprisingly rich in iron & potassium which increases haemoglobin in our red blood cells. This can help you maintain ideal weight, reduce blood cholesterol and improve diabetes control. Passion fruit can also protect your eye sight, help prevent acne and even some forms of cancer. The phenolic compounds and alkaloids found in passion fruit can also help in relieving anxiety and treating insomnia to a certain level. I recommend a shot glass of pure passionfruit juice once a week during flu season and a few hours before embarking on a long grueling trip that involves airplanes.
There are over 50 varieties of passionfruit vines that can be trained to grow over fences, trellises and walls. These vines should be planted in direct sunlight and away from strong winds. Eco friendly resorts such as Tri Lanka and Six Senses Fiji are incorporating passionfruit vines in their landscaping to ensure fresh fruit for their creative dinning menus while providing beautiful aesthetics with natural camouflage.
Organic passionfruit vines grow only a few feet away from Villa Norbu’s kitchen and ocean bar, so wedding guests can always expect fresh passionfruit surprises throughout the year. A few drops of this fruit’s tangy golden nectar on locally caught Snapper ceviche is our chef’s secret method of tantalizing & confusing curious tastebuds; (is it lemon, mango or orange?). The juice is also the perfect compliment for rum punch, and mixes wonderfully with Virgin Islands’ renowned Cruzan Rum. This winter, Norbu will produce organic guava berry & passionfruit syrups that will be available exclusively on the villa’s menu.