Barbadine or Giant Granadilla: Here’s What You Should Know


Barbadine or giant granadilla is a large, oblong fruit that has sweet, floral pulp.

The fruit is used to make a delicious punch with sweeteners and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

Barbadine is actually related to passion fruit but has a milder taste. The fruit has some interesting health benefits too. So, here’s everything to know about barbadine.

What is barbadine (giant granadilla)

Barbadine is a vining member of the passion fruit family. It produces the largest fruit in the family.

Its botanical name is Passiflora quadrangularis.

And its common names include:

  • giant granadilla
  • grenadine
  • badea
barbadine on vine

The barbadine fruit is a large, fleshy fruit that is firm and green skinned when unripe. As it ripens, the skin turns yellow, the flesh becomes softer, and the fruit gives off a pleasant, floral smell.

The flesh has a mushy, creamy consistency. Within the fruit, there is a seed sack filled with small seeds covered in yellow pulp. The seeds are similar to those of passion fruit.

Flavor can be extracted from the seed pulp, but it is often discarded.

How to grow barbadine

So how do you grow barbadine?

Barbadine requires hot tropical conditions with high humidity and well-drained soil. It is mostly grown by germinating the seeds but can be propagated with the woody cuttings. The plant vines quickly and will begin flowering within ten months.

The seeds take about two weeks to germinate. Transplant them a couple weeks later into fertilized soil close to a wire fence.

After ten months or so, large, purple flowers will develop – they are similar to passion fruit flowers.

Although the flowers are large, pollen is often released before the flower is mature enough. So, you may see flowers dropping and not holding any fruits.

When this happens, it is best to hand pollinate the fruits.

Use some carrying agent like a swab or small brush to remove the pollen from the shorter pollen pads (called anthers). Tap the pollen onto the stigma of the flower (the taller structures). Repeat especially during the early morning.

The Gardening Mom gives a lovely demonstration. Note, the anthers or pollen pads are considered male and the stigma is considered the female part of the flower.

The fruits will begin to develop within a month after pollination and will take about 3 months to mature.

Although the barbadine fruit takes long to mature, the vine bears year-round and will continue bearing for several years.

Barbadine health benefits

What is Barbadine good for?

Unfortunately, there is very little scientific research into the benefits of barbadine. And the few studies available are focused much more on the barbadine leaves. Here’s what I found:

Barbadine contains high glucose levels

This 2019 study compared several common fruits in Ecuador.

Zaboca, caimite, five fingers, custard apple, guava, pawpaw and soursop were among the fruits. The study found barbadine had the highest levels of glucose among the fruits.

Barbadine is rich in Vitamin C

The same study also looked at the Vitamin C content of the fruits. Per 100g, barbadine was found to contain roughly 275 mg of the vitamin. The daily requirement of Vitamin C is under 100 mg.

So, barbadine is especially rich in the vitamin.

Barbadine leaves are beneficial too

This 2018 Colombian study tested the leaf extract on mice and found the extract acted like a sedative for the animals.

A 2005 Brazilian study explained barbadine leaves are traditionally used to treat bronchitis, asthma, whooping cough, diabetic complications and hypertension.

The leaves also have antioxidant and antibacterial properties according to this 2014 study.

What does barbadine taste like?

Barbadine has a sweet, pleasant, floral taste that is significantly milder and more subdued than passion fruit.

When the barbadine is ripe, it has a strong, floral smell.

Are giant granadilla related to passion fruits?

Giant granadillas are relatives of passion fruits, but they are not the same fruit. Giant granadillas are much larger and have a thick layer of white, soft, flavorful flesh surrounding a small seed sack. Passion fruits do not contain flesh, but do have small seeds covered in flavorful, yellow pulp.

What are some barbadine recipes

There are many ways to prepare barbadine. Punch and ice cream are the most common ways to use the giant granadilla fruit.

Barbadine punch

barbadine punch with nutmeg featured image

To make barbadine punch, be sure the fruit is soft and very ripe. Cut open, peel the outer skin and strain the seeds. Blend everything with your choice of dairy, essence, sweetener and spices.

Carnation milk, condensed milk, vanilla essence, Angostura bitters, cinnamon and nutmeg are the most common ingredients. For a dairy free option, consider soy milk or any nut milk and, for a sugar-free punch, use alternative sweeteners, dates, prunes and other natural sweeteners.

I have a full recipe on how to make barbadine punch over here.

If you’re interested in more exotic drinks, check out this delicious dragon fruit smoothie recipe (it’s so good!)

Barbadine ice cream

Barbadine ice cream is made with very similar ingredients to the punch.

For one barbadine, use condensed milk (2 tins), carnation milk, essence, bitters, and a pinch of your desired spices. Blend everything and add to your pail or ice cream maker.

Also, try Felix’s barbadine coconut ice cream.

Barbadine baked treats

Scrolling through the True Trini Food and Recipes. Facebook page, I found two lovely ladies with really unique recipes: barbadine cheesecake and barbadine bread.

The mild flavor of the fruit will certainly make a nice cake too.

Green barbadine stir fry with coconut

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, dabble with Kerala cuisine.

Village Cooking – Kerala shares an interesting recipe with onions, chilies, grated coconut, and grated green barbadine.

How do you use barbadine? Let me know in the comments below!

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